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BLACK-ROBES, 



OR 



SKETCHES 



OF 



MISSIONS AND MINISTERS 



IN THE WILDERNESS AND ON THE BORDER. 



BY VJLX 

J 

ROBERT P:*NEVIN. 



PHILADELPHIA: 

J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO. 

1872. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by 

J. B. LIPPJNCOTT & CO., 
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. 



fLacroft 



Library 



CONTENTS. 



THE JESUIT. 

PAGE 

I. The Priest and the Parson of Two Hundred Years Ago . 7 

II. The Missionary among the Savages of Superior . . 16 
HI. Marquette, his Cotemporaries and Successors, and what 

they accomplished ....... 33 

IV. The Legend of the Defeat of the Eries . . . -53 
V. The Faith on the Pennsylvania Border and in the Valleys 

of La Belle Riviere . 66 



THE MORAVIAN. 

I. The Moravians in Eastern Pennsylvania . . . .87 

II. The " Place of Hogs" on the Upper Alleghany . . 98 
III. The " Village of Peace" on the Beaver . . . .109 

IV. The Journey through the Wilderness .... 123 

V. Trouble at Work in the Tents on the Muskingum . . 136 
VI. Captain Pipe plans New Mischief, and what came of his 

Schemes ......... 151 

VII. The Dispersion of the Congregation ; its Restoration, and 

its Return to the Muskingum . . . . . 171 

THE METHODIST. 

I. The Methodist Preacher of the Border Nascitur, non fit . 185 
II. The Arrest, Awakening, Conviction, Conversion, and the 

Call of the Preacher 198 

III. The Preacher in the Pulpit 210 

IV. In the Saddle and on the Circuit ..... 230 

V. The Cane-Ridge Revival . 248 

VI. Mentionable Men among the Preachers of the Border . 265 

(iii) 



iv CONTENTS. 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 

PAGE 

I. Old Redstone its People and its Presbytery . . .281 

II. The Parson of Seventy-five Years Ago .... 299 

III. The Sabbath-day, and how it was sanctified , s . . 314 

IV. The Long Sabbath, and the Great Buffalo Sacrament . 334 

V. The Early Laborers in the Border Vineyard . . .348 



THE JESUIT. 



(5) 



THE JESUIT. 






THE PRIEST AND THE PARSON OF TWO HUNDRED 
YEARS AGO. 

A TTRIBUTE the fact to whatever motive we 
*^X please, accord to it whatever degree of de 
serving, one way and the other, our several preju 
dices may incline to, it is nevertheless indisputable 
that the Roman Catholic Church has always moved 
far in advance of all other Christian denominations 
in missionary enterprise. Inspired by a sublime 
devotion, the self-denying priest has never hesitated 
to respond to a conviction of duty, nor paused to 
consider the hinderances in the way of its discharge. 
No'field of labor has been so remote, no interven 
ing stretch of wilderness and solitude so vast, but 
that to attain the one, he has bade willing defiance 
to the toils, the trials, and the perils of the other. 
Pestilence has not stayed him, famine has not re 
strained him, fire and sword have not dismayed him. 
Outstripping the march of civilization, distancing 
even the enterprise of the few, made famous by the 

(7) ' 



8 BLACK-ROBES. 

feat, who, led by desire of traffic, or the love of 
wild adventure, have accomplished their bolder 
advances, penetrating far, over long-extending 
leagues of pathless way, into the heart of savage 
wastes, he has assumed the more marvelous 
achievement, nor rested content until, traversing 
the weary reaches between, of forest, plain, desert, 
and mountain, he has journeyed from sea to sea, 
and made the passage of a continent. 

In 1626, Jean de Brebeuf, of the order of Jesus, 
starting from Quebec, entered upon his first mis 
sionary labor, fixing his station among the Huron 
Indians, on the Canada shore of the lake of that 
name, nearly a thousand miles from the point of 
his embarkation on the St. Lawrence River. Ten 
years later, the exiled preacher, Roger Williams, 
the foremost venturer among his Puritan brethren, 
sought out a scene for his personal toils and for 
a new settlement among the Narragansetts in 
Rhode Island, but the enterprise took him scarcely 
beyond sound of the axe of the pioneer in the clear 
ings on the frontier of the Plymouth settlements. 
In 1648, John Eliot, the most noted of evangelical 
apostles among the Indians, officiating on a salary 
of fifty pounds per annum, had extended his labors 
into the backwoods, perhaps half a dozen miles 
outside of Boston harbor. Seven years before, the 
canoe that bore them landed Fathers Jogues and 
Raymbault among the Ojibwas, or Chippewas, on 
the banks of the Saut Ste. Marie, close upon the 



THE JESUIT. 9 

waters of Lake Superior, midway almost between 
shore and shore of the opposite oceans. Whole 
generations later, and within memory of living 
men, when ministers, under auspice of the domestic 
missionary societies, first went out to serve among 
the mixed populations, native and imported, of 
Western (peninsular) Michigan, they found the 
orchards, grown old and crumbled from decay, 
which were planted by the Jesuit fathers nearly a 
century and a half before. 

If a comparison be instituted between the teach 
ings and the preachings of the Papist and the Puri 
tan, in the time of which we treat, the contrast will 
be marked, and strikingly at variance with a pre 
vailing conviction respecting the fact. The instruc 
tions under which the follower of Loyola entered 
upon his work demanded an exclusive devotion to 
the one specific object of his errand, to proclaim 
Christ and his Cross to the benighted savages of 
the New World. The Christian virtues were to be 
held in strict observance. He was to be meek, 
patient, forgiving, temperate, charitable, and of un 
tiring affection. He was to conform, as nearly as 
possible, to the manners and customs of the tribes 
among which he might be thrown; loving them as 
brothers ; tendering a cheerful proffer of all cour 
tesies and civilities, even the most trifling; par 
taking with them of their fare, a hard task for 
graceful performance, but one claimed as a sacred 
due of hospitality, no matter how rude or how re- 



I0 BLACK-ROBES. 

pulsive it might be ; all, that identifying himself with 
them thus intimately, he might the more readily 
win them over to the embrace of the Faith which 
it was his mission to preach. 

The Puritan, on the other hand, took upon him 
his office independently, and in boasted contempt 
of higher human authority. With the Bible for 
his rule and conscience for his guide, only to God 
would he hold himself accountable. His peculiar 
dogmas regarding forms of belief and of worship, 
of government ecclesiastical and civil, and of indi 
vidual conduct, made up mainly his religion. In his 
preaching he preferred to discourse upon points of 
doctrine; to denounce the Divine Right of Bishops; 
to discuss the question whether Sanctity of Life is 
Evidence of Justification, or to deliver a solemn 
protest against the Eating of Mince-pies on Christ 
mas. Thus it happened that while Roger Williams 
was proclaiming vehemently against the cross in 
the English standard, to the spiritual edification 
of his hearers, and while, with his ready right 
hand, Endicott was defiantly cutting it out, Father 
Jogues, a tortured, mutilated prisoner, far away in 
a camp of the Iroquois, in the fullness of a more 
amiable zeal, was carving the same sacred symbol, 
and with it tracing out the adorable name of IESUS 
in the bark of the trees. And so it was, that while 
the "Apostle of the Indians" found topics quite up 
to his taste, for pulpit deliveries, in such themes as 
" The Wearing of Wigs and Long Hair," and " The 



THE JESUIT. II 

Use of Tobacco," Charles Gamier, the gentle disci 
ple of Ignatius, was proclaiming the compassionate 
lessons of his divine Master in his own inspired 
utterances ; preaching repentance and faith to the 
Huron and the Iroquois, and administering the 
saving sacrament of baptism to his converts, all 
the while, and everywhere, steadily pursuing, 
through hazard and through hardship, his ap 
pointed task ; that task which was to find its re 
quital at last in the crown of martyrdom, for 
which, in his moods of ecstasy, he was used to 
petition so fervently. 

The religion of the Puritan may be said to have 
been a religion of the head, characteristically cold, 
rigid, and vindictive. Charity with him was an un 
familiar virtue. His ministry was devoted to the 
rooting out of heresies, and to the instillation of 
"wholesome spiritual doctrine." The Law fur 
nished him with his texts and his proofs, rather 
than the Gospel, as Moses was his master of inspi 
ration rather than the Messiah. To keep a salutary 
espionage over the consciences of his fellow-com 
municants, to disfranchise Wheelright, and to 
banish Mrs. Hutchinson, for the very fault (none 
else than non-conformity) which had made him 
self an exile from his native land, was a more 
praiseworthy service than would have been the 
conversion of a Mohican or a Wampanoag. He 
seemed to act upon the presumption that the truth 
could make its own way among the Gentiles, and 



12 BLACK-ROBES. 

that the exclusive office of the teacher or pastor 
was to see that the "professor" lived up to the 
line of Congregational orthodoxy. His function 
was to call the righteous, not sinners, to repent 
ance. It was nothing out of the way that Parris 
should take it as worthy a heavenly benediction 
when he "preached and prayed" against deaf Re 
becca Nurse, and had her hanged by the neck, one 
summer's day, till she was dead. Cotton Mather 
thought that he was winning a peculiar claim to 
celestial favor when he harangued the crowd 
whose unsahctified instincts threatened to tempt 
them to the rescue of the condemned preacher, 
Burroughs, as he stood on the scaffold, and with 
a comfortable conscience could thank God "for 
justice, being so far executed among us," the 
governor and the president of Harvard College 
responding " Amen" to it, as his miserable victim 
was launched, strangled, into eternity. 

The religion of the Jesuit, on the other hand, 
was eminently a religion of the heart. Love was 
the cardinal element of his faith. Christ, with him, 
was all and in all. Calvary was the sacred mount 
ain to which he turned for his oracles, rather than 
Sinai. The injunction of his adorable Lord he put 
literally in practice, taking up his cross and fol 
lowing him. He never tarried to discuss mooteJ 
questions in theological science, receiving the dog 
mas of his church without cavil, and confessing to 
its mysteries dutifully, satisfied, as he was, in the 



THE JESUIT. 13 

terms of old and approved acceptance, to under 
stand as he believed, and not to fetter and imperil 
himself by assuming only to believe as he under 
stood. Freed thus from the necessity of lingering 
at home to watch against the upgrowth of schism, 
lie was at liberty to take up the more benevolent 
and consistent offices of his vocation, and where- 
ever souls were to be snatched from perdition, 
the more distant and dangerous, the more inviting 
the mission, thither to force his way, or for with 
his face once set upon an errand he never turned 
back to perish in the attempt. 

"O my Jesus," said the pious Gabriel Lalle- 
mand, "it is necessary that Thy blood, shed for the 
savages as well as for us, should be efficaciously ap 
plied to their salvation. It is on this account that 
I desire to co-operate with Thy grace, and to im 
molate myself for Thee." "What shall I render to 
Thee, O my Lord Jesus," reads the vow of the 
noble Jean de Brebeuf, "for all that I have received 
from Thee? I will accept Thy chalice; I will call 
upon Thy name. And now I vow, in presence of 
Thine eternal Father, and of the Holy Ghost, 
before the angels, the apostles, and the martyrs, 
that if, in Thy mercy, Thou shalt ever offer unto 
me, Thy unworthy servant, the grace of martyrdom, 
I will not refuse it. From this hour I offer unto 
Thee, with all my will, O Thou my Jesus, my body, 
my blood, my soul, so that, by Thy permission, I 
may die for Thee who hast deigned to die for me. 



1 4 BLACK-ROBES. 

So, Lord, will I" accept Thy chalice and invoke 
Thy name, O Jesus, Jesus, Jesus !'' 

This was the spirit of the Jesuit's devotion, and 
these types of the illustrious company of those 
who, like Rene Menard, Chabanel, Garreau, Le 
Maistre, Du Poisson, Antoine Daniel, and their 
fellows, dedicated themselves to martyrdom, that 
the faith to which they were plighted, with its 
saving grace, might be implanted in the hearts of 
the heathen. 

As to the merits of the one order of these eccle 
siastical functionaries, and of the other, it may 
readily be conceived that a decided opinion pre 
vailed in the minds of the savages. "You saw 
me," said one of them, representing his people 
before the Governor of Massachusetts, " long before 
the French did; yet neither you nor your ministers 
ever spoke to me of prayer or of the Great Spirit. 
They saw my furs and my beaver-skins, and they 
thought of them only. These were what they 
sought. When I brought them many I was their 
great friend. That was all. On the contrary, one 
day I lost my way in my canoe, and arrived at last 
at an Algonquin village, where the Black-Robes 
taught. I had hardly arrived when a Black-Robe 
came to see me. I was loaded with peltries. The 
French Black-Robe disdained even to look at them. 
He spoke to me at once of the Great Spirit, of 
Paradise, of Hell, and of the Prayer which is the 
only path to heaven. I heard him with pleasure. 



THE JESUIT. 15 

At length prayer was pleasing to me. I asked for 
baptism, and I received it. Then I returned to my 
own country, and told what had happened to me. 
They envied my happiness, and set out to find 
the Black-Robe, and asked him to baptize them. 
If, when you first saw me, you had spoken to me 
of prayer, I should have had the misfortune to 
learn to pray like you, for I was not able then to 
find out if your prayer was good. But I have 
learned the prayer of the French. I love it, and 
will follow it till the earth is consumed." 

While the labors of the early Catholic mission 
aries were devoted chiefly to the natives inhabiting 
the wildernesses of Canada, they were not so to 
the exclusion of a more extended exercise. Their 
enterprise led them beyond the boundaries of that 
province, and brought them within borders of a 
strange land, which, lying south of the chain of 
lakes, away in the rear of the Plymouth settlements, 
reached, with its broad ranges of forest and prairie, 
from the Alleghany Mountains to the Mississippi 
River. It is of their attempts, as the pioneers of 
Christianity in these regions, the regions of "the 
West," as the term had its application and limita 
tion down to within a score or two of years ago, 
that this sketch proposes to treat. 



II. 

THE MISSIONARY AMONG THE SAVAGES OF SUPERIOR. 

THE Ottawa, Menomonee, Chippewa, Illinois, 
and other Indian nations inhabiting the regions 
bordering upon the waters of Superior and Michi 
gan, formed part of the great Algonquin family, 
which, having its connecting links through other 
intermediate tribes, extended along the line of lakes 
to the eastern seaboard, including and terminating 
with the powerful clans of the Abenakis in Maine. 
Within this belt of territory, and edging upon the 
lake which bears their name, lay the possessions 
of the Hurons or Wyandots, a people deriving 
their lineage and language from the Iroquois, but 
bound to the Algonquins, as was inevitable from 
their geographical position, by the more reliable 
ties of sympathy and interest. 

Voyages for the purposes of trade were common 
between the Ottawas and the other kindred tribes 
of the West, and their allies, the Hurons, of the 
East. Straggling parties would make the excur 
sion at almost any season of the year, except, 
perhaps, in the dead of winter; but the great tours 
happened more rarely, and were undertaken when 
the months were propitious, offering fain skies, a 
(16) 



THE JESUIT. 17 

genial atmosphere, open water, and the promise of 
supplies, in the game and the growth of the woods, 
for subsistence on the way. From sixty to a hun 
dred or more canoes would gather at some con 
venient harbor on Green Bay, or on the Saut Ste. 
Marie, into which would be packed the cargoes of 
peltries and copper, their chief articles of export, 
when the flotilla, manned with some five persons 
to each bark, forming altogether quite a numer 
ous party, would start upon their voyage. After 
the Old World had sent over its colonies to the 
New, and the settlements that sprang up on the 
seacoast and along the rivers began to exhibit their 
superior attractions, these voyages were continued 
farther down the St. Lawrence, until at length 
Quebec, the frontier town of the French, became 
the terminus of the trade. Here the native foresters 
could supply themselves at a cheap rate, according 
to their estimate of values, with the foreign com 
modities that suited their simple tastes, beads, bits 
of glass, ribbons, rings, and the like, while the 
barterers with whom they dealt were disposed to 
believe that they had not been outbargained in the 
furs and skins received in exchange. 

While tarrying at port, social intercourse was 
not neglected between dealers and customers, and 
while the Frenchman excited the admiration and 
taxed the credulity of his visitor with descriptions 
of the marvels of his native land, the Indian, am 
bitious to maintain his national importance as well, 



1 8 BLACK-ROBES. 

would reciprocate with stories of the wonders of 
the distant interior where he inhabited, of its 
mighty rivers and fresh-water seas, of its illimitable 
prairies, and of the populous tribes that filled the 
region. Tempted by these representations, Nicolet, 
one of the earliest and most adventurous pioneers 
of New France, determined upon a voyage of ex 
ploration. A ready familiarity with the Algonquin 
tongue qualified him peculiarly for the undertaking. 
He made the expedition, visiting the "Sea Tribe," 
in the neighborhood of Green Bay, and having 
returned, offered his own testimony in confirmation 
of the statements made by the native traders. 

Among the national festivals of the Algonquins 
was one of peculiar solemnity, entitled the Feast 
of the Dead, recurring, periodically, every tenth 
year, and held at some chosen locality in the 
country of the Hurons. On these events, delega 
tions from all the tribes, far and near, were accus 
tomed to assemble, bearing with them the bones 
of their dead of the last decade, dug from their 
graves, and brought for final sepulture in the one 
common depository consecrated to that use, but 
more particularly attracted, no doubt, by the feasts, 
the songs and dances, the games, and the torch 
light processions which were the ceremonial accom 
paniments of the occasion. The period for a 
return of this festival happened in 1641, and was 
attended, among the rest, by a representation of 
Chippewas from the Saut Ste. Marie. 



THE JESUIT. I 9 

The Jesuit missionaries were not slow to take 
advantage of so promising an opportunity to urge 
the claims of the Faith upon these strange barba 
rians. So eloquently did they press their appeals, 
and such was their gentle and winning manner, that 
they found favor in the eyes of the savages, who 
made earnest entreaty that some of their number 
should accompany them in the backward voyage 
to their lodges in the far land. Ever since the re 
turn of Nicolet, several years previously, the good 
fathers had contemplated the establishment of a 
mission in that quarter, and now that Providence 
had opened a way, they promptly and thankfully 
accepted the invitation. Preliminarily to a positive 
occupation of the ground, Fathers Jogues and 
Raymbault were appointed to undertake the jour 
ney, explore the country, and fix upon a station. 
Coasting Lake Huron in their canoes, after a voyage 
of seventeen days, made peculiarly pleasurable by 
the charming scenery that skirted their progress, 
and the genial summer atmosphere, redolent with 
the rich balm of pines, through which they floated, 
they arrived on the 4th of July at the Saut, to be 
met with the hearty welcome of two thousand 
Indians. 

The wonders narrated by the old traders at 
Quebec were repeated. The missionaries were 
told of the great plains that stretched south and 
west, away from the lakes, and of the populous 
tribes the Miamis, the Sacs and Foxes, the 



20 BLACK-ROBES. 

Kickapoos, and the Pottawotamies by which 
they were inhabited. Rumors, too, were rehearsed 
of vaster regions lying still farther beyond; of the 
river of rivers, the MESIPI they called it, that 
had its broad course there, and of the Nadowessi, 
mighty and terrible, a nation of hunters and of a 
thousand warriors, that occupied the land. The 
missionaries were rilled with wonder at the recital. 
Their hearts overflowed with compassion for the 
multitudes living and perishing thus in ignorance, 
and instantly would they have committed them 
selves to the work of their enlightenment, only 
that, as yet, the laborers were too few in the field 
of the Hurons, and the successes established there, 
through so much toil, too precious, to allow of the 
risk to the spiritual perseverance of the newly elect, 
that might ensue upon their withdrawal. But there 
was to be no final abandonment of the ground. 
They tarried for some days, sharing the hospitali 
ties of their Chippewa friends, planted a cross on 
the site near the river where now stands the Cathe 
dral of St. Mary, as the distinguishing emblem of 
their creed, and for evidence to such as might 
follow that they had been before, and were entitled 
to come again, to hold and to possess for the 
French and for the Faith, and then, launching their 
canoes, they glided out into the rapids of the Ste. 
Marie and floated away on their homeward-bound 
voyage. They never returned. Raymbault died, 
perishing from exposure. Jogues followed ulti- 



THE JESUIT. 21 

mately, hurried to his reward by the murderous 
blow of an Iroquois assassin. 

A party of Ottowas, under guidance of a pair of 
wandering traders, who, in pursuit of their calling, 
some two years before had strayed upon them, 
visited the Hurons in 1656, and made request fora 
Black-Robe to join them on their return. Two of 
the fathers, Leonard Garreau and Gabriel Druil- 
letes, that man of " incomparable charity," were 
accordingly commissioned for that purpose. Upon 
starting they took with them a company of French 
men, with the view of planting a white settlement 
among the natives at the Saut. The attending 
Frenchmen, soon wearying of the society of their 
savage co-voyageurs, and perhaps not uninfluenced 
by a regard for their personal safety, withdrew in 
a body from the enterprise. The missionaries were 
not to be deterred by the spiritless example of the 
deserters, but manfully continued their advance. 
Paddling their way against the tide of the river, 
they had proceeded as far as the island of Mon 
treal, when they were suddenly attacked by a party 
of Iroquois, lurking secretly in await for them. 
Garreau fell fatally wounded under the first fire. 
The Ottowas deserted their canoes and took to the 
shore. Here, gathering behind defenses hastily 
thrown up, they sheltered themselves until escape 
was practicable, when they stole away, abandoning 
Druilletes, whom they would not allow to go 
with them, to whatever fate might overtake him. 



22 BLACK-ROBES. 

But when the Jesuit resolved he accomplished. 
In his lexicon there was no such word as fail. 
Did persecution, armed with tortures, interpose to 
prevent him ? He might writhe under its inflictions, 
but he would not be hindered. Did certain death 
lie visibly before him in the way ? No matter to 
the devotee whose daily invocation was that he 
might be found worthy, if the reward were not 
beyond his desert, to win the crown of martyrdom. 

The establishment of the Saut Ste. Marie mis 
sion was deferred, but not abandoned, because of 
the disaster at Montreal Island. In 1660 another 
trading fleet of sixty canoes, laden with the ordi 
nary freightage, arrived from Superior at Quebec. 
Three hundred Ottowas manned the expedition. 
They reiterated the request which had been urged 
by their brethren four years before, that a servant 
of the " God of the Prayer" should go back with 
them on their return. The Superior, Father Lalle- 
mand, listened to their prayer, and cast his eyes 
around to find the fitting candidate for the em 
bassy. Among the enlisted in the sacerdotal ser 
vice was a veteran, who, in earlier years, had toiled 
with Brebeuf, Jo*gues, Gamier, and Bressani, of 
saintly remembrance, and participated in all their 
trying experiences, save only the last, by which 
their earthly connection had been severed. ' Hard 
service had done its equal share with the frosts of 
fifty-six winters to whiten his hair, and the keen- 
edged weapons of his enemies had left their deeper 



THE JESUIT. 23 

grooves than the well-marked furrows of time, on 
his cheek. Sixteen years' devotion to it had not 
diminished his ardor in the cause to which he was 
plighted. His physical frame, constitutionally 
delicate, would have rendered him incompetent for 
missionary duty, save that its energies, through a 
severe and uninterrupted process of discipline, had 
been trained to extraordinary endurance. His man 
ners were those of a rarely accomplished, highly 
polished Christian gentleman. He was zealous in 
his Master's cause, but his zeal was of a temperate 
type, kept evenly quick and warm by the ""live 
coals," rather than stimulatively ardent by the fitful- 
flashes from off the altar. 

Rene Menard was the man for the post. If the 
Superior, after having indicated his choice, hesitated 
on account of the age and infirmities of the priest 
to confirm it, "Fear not," said the worthy asso 
ciate of the old martyrs. " He who feeds the young 
raven, and clothes the lily of the field, will take 
care of his servants." The venerable father was 
nominated, and forthwith started upon the mission. 

The savage traders had been liberal in their 
offers of kind treatment. No sooner had they got 
fairly under way with their fleet, however, than the 
native treachery of their hearts began to betray 
itself. Indignities were heaped upon the gray- 
headed priest, especially by Le Brochet, a principal 
chief of the party, whose example failed not to 
provoke a like behavior on the part of his inferiors. 



24 BLACK-ROBES 

He was made to perform their most menial services. 
He was compelled to toil at the oar from dawn till 
dark, and to contribute his more than equal share 
in the transportation of their burdens at the port 
ages. He was forbidden-his accustomed devotions ; 
made the object of mockery and derision; robbed 
of his breviary, which the ruffianly wretches hurled 
into the water; yet patiently he endured it all, "and 
like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he 
not his mouth." Famine overtook the party on 
its way, when all were reduced to the extremity 
of subsisting on berries, barks, roots, acorns, and 
the tripe de roche, a woodland moss, gathered as 
they might find it, here and there, on the rocks. 

Arrived at the Saut at last, the Indians cast the 
unhappy missionary ashore, and left him provision- 
less, shelterless, barefooted, and with only the tat 
ters of his threadbare robe for protection against 
the weather. Yet the soul of the heroic old man 
did not fail him. As of wont, his daily orisons 
ascended to heaven. As of wont, his lips gave 
breath to praise, the recesses of the woods waken 
ing as they had never wakened before, to the 
strange song of the New Adoration, the Salve 
Regina, and the floods clapping their hands to 
the glad music of the Ave Mans Stella. For 
several days he was reduced for sustenance to 
the use of dry bones . crushed to a coarse powder 
between stones and thus made edible. Some of 
his red-skin companions at length relented, sought 



THE JESUIT. 25 

him out, and conducted him to where their wig 
wams were pitched, miles away at Keweenaw Bay. 
Upon their extermination as a tribe, in 1649, by 
the Iroquois, a crippled remnant of the Hurons 
took refuge with the Ottowas. Ten years' exposure 
to the old superstitions may have dimmed, but had 
not obliterated, the religious impressions of these 
unfortunate exiles. As soon as Father Rene ap 
peared among them, these sheep of the old flock 
gathered fondly about him, and with the stray 
wanderers of the scattered cote of St. Mary's on 
the Wye, he formed the nucleus of a new fold at 
St. Theresa's Bay, as designated by him, on 
Lake Superior. Such was the establishment of 
the first permanent mission in the Far West. Me- 
nard was not to be allowed, without dispute, to 
administer to the spiritual wants of his flock. The 
Ottowa people, under unworthy example of their 
chiefs, who were violent in their opposition to the 
faith of "the Prayer," drove the pious father from 
their cabins. He constructed for himself a rude 
shelter of fir-branches, through which the winds 
had almost unobstructed passage, and this was his 
lodge through the long, bitter months of a north 
ern winter, this his only protection against its 
storms, and snows, and cold. His labors were 
limited to the sick and equally suffering with him 
self among the unfriendly tribe, but were not 
without their recompense. Several baptisms are 
mentioned among the fruits of his efforts. 



26 BLACK-ROBES. 

In the spring, having learned of a group of 
refugee VVyandots, inhabiting an island in Green 
Bay, he determined upon a visit to that quarter. 
The route was ascertained to be an exceedingly 
difficult and dangerous one. His friends advised 
him against the undertaking. "God calls me 
thither," he replied. " I must go if it cost me my 
life." Embarking in a canoe accordingly, attended 
by his proved friend the Donne, John Guerin, 
together with a small party of Hurons, he started 
upon the hazardous voyage. The way was long, 
following the devious current of the Menomonee, 
and laborious from the many crossings overland 
necessary, in order to avoid the various rapids in 
the river. Before having proceeded very far, the 
Indians, with accustomed infidelity, deserted the 
missionaries, who with wonted perseverance, how 
ever, continued to press on. At one of the portages, 
Guerin started in advance of his aged companion. 
The latter, with a dubious trail to follow, drifted 
out of the true course and lost his way. Guerin, 
more fortunate, made the crossing successfully, and 
awaited anxiously the arrival of the priest. He 
never appeared. Diligent search was made for 
him. The bag he' carried, his breviary, and por 
tions of his apparel were found long afterwards in 
the huts of some of the savages, but never a trace 
of the body of the missionary. Rene Menard, the 
last surviving of the Fathers in the Faith who had 
been first to bear the tidings of Redemption to the 



THE JESUIT. 27 

barbarians of the New World, had followed, by the 
same path whither they had gone, and the com 
pany of apostles on earth stood again complete as 
the circle of martyrs in Paradise. 

But the Cross had been planted in the soil of the 
tribes on the Great Lake, and it was not to be 
abandoned. Claudius Allouez was appointed to 
fill the place made vacant by the loss of the ven 
erable Rene. He accepted the commission cheer 
fully, joined the Ottowa flotilla at Montreal, in the 
summer of 1665, and by the month of September 
was in his allotted field of labor. His first tarry- 
ing-point was at the bay of St. Theresa, where he 
was met and welcomed by some of the native con 
verts of Menard. Thence he coasted along the 
lake, until, early in October, he had reached the 
charming bay of Chegoimegon. Here he encoun 
tered an assemblage of savages, representing the 
various clans of Algonquins, gathered in from their 
several cantons along the coast, and wrought up to a 
high pitch of enthusiasm, in view of a contemplated 
descent upon the encampments of their common 
enemy, the Sioux. The priest looked on with 
feelings of painful regret. It was a matter of prime 
importance for his purpose that the martial fever 
should be quieted, and, if possible, the threatened 
warfare obviated. While the more youthful war 
riors, therefore, with their battle-songs and dances, 
were busy adding fuel to the fire of excitement, 
the prudent missionary invited their elders apart, 



2 8 BLACK-ROBES. 

the sachems and experienced veterans of the 
clans, and labored to convince them of the inex 
pediency of the proposed adventure. His counsels 
prevailed, and the undertaking was abandoned. 

Allouez then built a chapel, on a spot which he 
designated as La Pointe du Saint Esprit, and thus 
prepared himself for the opening of his work among 
the tribes. 

The difficulties which he had to encounter were 
many, and hard to overcome. The superstitions 
of the Indian dear to him as the traditional in 
heritance of his fathers were most to his choice, 
moreover, because their mysteries, of a type in 
their sublimation with the real circumstances of 
his life, lay within the range and aptitude of his 
unsophisticated habits of thinking. His objects 
of worship had to be plainly visible somehow, in 
the shadow at least, if not in the substance. The 
idea of a spirit imperceptible to sense, and uniden 
tified with some special feature or other of nature, 
such as the sun, the winds, the water, the woods, 
was one beyond his grasp of comprehension. 
When the missionary, therefore, undertook to tear 
to pieces the structure of the old religion, he had 
the prejudices, firmly rooted as the growth of ages 
in a congenial soil could make them, to contend 
against; while when, on the other hand, he sought 
to substitute a knowledge of the faith of his Mas 
ter, he encountered the harder task of attempting 
to build up without the material for reconstruction, 



THE JESUIT. 29 

the language of the savage being destitute of 
terms to represent the abstractions of his creed. 

Then there were the social and domestic usages 
to correct; favorite practices not inconsistent with 
the native conception of morality, but scarcely 
comporting with the ethics of the new doctrine. 
Marriage, in its sacramental sense, was an unknown 
institution among the people, Man and woman, 
with perhaps a gift of wampum passed between 
them, as a "consideration" for the longer or 
shorter term of accommodation that might follow, 
rather than as the pledge of a permanent compact, 
would take to the same wigwam, but the relation 
thus contracted might be dissolved at any time as 
caprice decided, and either, or both, of the parties 
remain at liberty to enter into new alliances upon 
the same convenient terms. When the pair thus 
associating happened to have outlived the ardencies 
of youth, they usually kept up the companionship 
for years, perhaps for life; but this fidelity was 
maintained from motives of convenience commonly 
rather than from tenderness of attachment, the 
woman acting pretty much in the capacity of slave, 
hoeing the corn, cracking the hominy, and attend 
ing generally to the domestic drudgery, while the 
man, making his amusements his occupation, pro 
vided the luxuries of the chase for the larder, or 
"filled his red-stone pipe for smoking," and took 
his ease in his cabin. 

Polygamy, besides, was prevalent. Indeed, their 
3* 



3 o BLACK-ROBES. 

customs and their customs were their law al 
lowed the almost unrestricted indulgence of desire, 
and their grossness in this respect was so open, so 
shameless, so abominable, that the very brutes that 
roamed their forests were paragons of decency in 
comparison. 

But Father Allouez did not despair of his mission. 
The chapel which he had erected, the novel ap 
pointments of its interior, the unaccustomed ser 
vices, and the strange doctrines of the new religion, 
all combined to excite the curiosity of the natives; 
and from far and near, Nepissings and Kikapoos, 
Saulteurs and Pottawottamies, they gathered in to 
see the Black-Robe, and to listen to the marvelous 
tidings which he proclaimed. His attention being 
invited to these various tribes, he undertook a pil 
grimage through their several territories, distribut 
ing his lessons of counsel and instruction in all 
their villages. As the fruit of his first winter's 
labor he was able to report the baptism of eighty- 
four subjects, principally children, but including 
several adults. Having continued at his work 
through two years, he returned to Quebec, tarried 
for two days, reported to his Superior, laid in a 
small stock of such supplies as were more press- 
ingly needed at his Western post, engaged the 
services of an assistant, Father Louis Nicholas, and 
turned his face again towards Chegoimegon. 

In his old field once more, Allouez applied him 
self with new industry to his labors. Missions 



THE JESUIT. 31 

were permanently established among the Ottowas, 
Chippewas, and Nepissings. But his efforts were 
not restricted to these tribes. He established his 
posts in the communities of the Miamis ; built his 
oratories of mats and bark among 4:he Sacs and 
Winnebagoes ; and thus, season by season, migrated 
from scene to scene, until the news of redemption 
had been declared to twenty-five tribes, and eighty 
souls had been gathered by baptism into the fold 
of Christ. The Kiskakons, as a nation, under his 
preaching, adopted the faith of the Cross. From 
Lapointe Allouez proceeded to Green Bay, and his 
first mass being celebrated on the festival of St. 
Francis Xavier, the post was designated by that 
title. From that point as a centre he kept up an 
active intercourse with the various tribes of the 
region, explained the mysteries of the Prayer, 
opened chapels for instruction, waited upon the 
sick, and discharged the practical duties of his 
office in such a manner as secured the confidence 
of the natives, gave force to his influence, and 
aided him materially in the profitable prosecution 
of his labors. Hundreds were baptized, including 
chiefs and others of the distinguished among the 
people, some of whom, like Kekakoung, a con 
verted Kiskakon, became preachers themselves of 
the creed of their adoption. Our Father, translated 
into their tongue, grew to be the familiar prayer 
of the wigwam, and Kyrie Eleison the accustomed 
chant at their devotions. Schools were instituted, 



32 BLACK-ROBES. 

where the children were taught the form of worship, 
and indoctrinated in the rudimentary elements of 
the Christian confession. 

After the death of Marquette, Allouez, in 1676, 
went, under commission, to the Illinois tribe, to 
fill the place of that deceased missionary. He 
reached their territory in April, and at once took 
possession of the quarters which had been occupied 
by his illustrious predecessor. Since Marquette's 
time the population, gathered in from their tempo 
rary migrations, had multiplied materially, so that 
where he had found but one race and seventy-four 
cabins, his successor discovered three hundred and 
fifty-one lodges, accommodating eight tribes. On 
the day of the Feast of the Invention of the Holy 
Cross, the missionary planted a model of the em 
blem appropriate to the day, twenty-five feet high, 
which continued to stand long years afterwards as 
a monument to his zeal and enterprise. With oc 
casional intervals, Allouez remained with this people 
till 1679, when, relinquishing the charge, he re 
turned to Mascoutens. 



III. 

MARQUETTE, HIS COTEMPORARIES AND SUCCESSORS, 
AND WHAT THEY ACCOMPLISHED. 

IN the spring of 1668, James Marquette, accom 
panied by Le Boesme, a worthy brother of the 
Order of Jesus, took boat at Quebec and launched 
out upon the long journey to the Northwest. 
After the usual voyage along the romantic coast 
of Lake Huron, accomplished without incident 
worthy of mention, the reverend adventurers, en 
tering the Saut Ste. Marie, and winding their course 
amid the isles that gem its channel, reached their 
point of destination, and disembarked on its 
southern shore, at the foot of the rapids. Here 
they erected a station, and, without delay, Mar 
quette commenced the exercise of his priestly 
functions. His fame had preceded him in that 
distant wilderness, so that the savages poured in 
from every quarter to hear him. The assemblies 
that gathered at the summons for services were 
large, attentive, and apparently interested, so that 
sanguine expectations were entertained of fruitful 
results to his labor. But his hopes were not to be 
realized. Curiosity their chief attracting motive 
once gratified, his hearers gradually dropped off", 

(33) 



34 



BLACK-ROBES. 



or, if they lingered, betrayed no evidence of any 
impression that might be regarded as profitable or 
hopeful. Despairing of success, he determined to 
change his scene of operations, and accordingly, in 
the early autumn of the year following, removed to 
the mission opened by Allouez, at Lapointe, after a 
weary and try ing passage of thirty days' continuance, 
made through desolate reaches of snow and ice. 
The inhabitants of two of the villages which were 
planted in the neighborhood, old converts of the 
Hurons in exile, received him kindly. Long 
estrangement from the influence of enlightened 
teachers had caused the decay of religion among 
them, and a partial relapse into the old supersti 
tions ; but, although not without opposition, es 
pecially from the tribes of adjoining settlements, 
the lost ground was speedily recovered. 

Marquette had listened to the legends that were 
told of the river of incgmparable magnitude that 
rolled away to the west, and of the formidable 
nation the Dacotahs that swarmed the vast 
lands beyond. The spirit of adventure stirred 
sympathetically in his bosom with the zeal of the 
religieuse, and he resolved that, so soon as oppor 
tunity pointed the way, he would meet its hazards 
and put the rumor to the proof. The Winnebagoes, 
P *ribe of the Dacotahs, and the only one east of the 
Mississippi, occupied the region bordering on the 
western extremity of Lake Superior. As a helpful 
preliminary to the grand project held in view, the 



THE JESUIT. 35 

missionary was anxious to secure the friendly favor 
of this people, and opened up negotiations which 
he hoped would result in an invitation to visit 
them; but, when on the eve of accomplishment, his 
plans were suddenly foiled. Some treachery of the 
Hurons offended their neighbors, and gave rise to a 
war which eventuated in their forced retreat to the 
quarter formerly occupied by them at Mackinaw. 
Marquette was compelled to retire with his friends. 
Here, amid the group of cabins in the new settle 
ment, he erected a chapel and established the 
mission of St. Ignatius. But the spot was a dreary, 
inhospitable one, and offered indifferent prospect 
of good to be accomplished. 

While yet at Lapointe, the eminent father had 
taken advantage of the presence of a prisoner from 
that tribe to have himself instructed in the dialect 
of the Illinois. That nation, an extensive and 
powerful one, occupied the country lying between 
Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River, contigu 
ous to the territory of the Dacotahs on the west, 
and, save by the partial interposition of the Miami 
district, reaching between the southern limit of 
Lake Michigan and Lake Erie, by the Iroquois on 
the east, both dreaded enemies, between the oppo 
site pressure of which they were doomed to be 
finally crushed out of existence. Defeated in his 
original plan of opening up a way of approach to 
the Dacotahs, or Sioux, through the Winnebagoes, 
Marqu ?tte determined to make the trial by a more 



36 BLA CK-R OBES. 

southerly route through the territory of the Illinois. 
Accordingly, as early as was practicable in the 
spring of 1673, armed for his only defense with 
cross, beads, and breviary, he turned his face 
towards the setting sun, and started forth upon his 
enterprise. Mascoutens was the first point of attain 
ment fixed upon, but finding the place deserted, he 
resumed his course, pushing westwardly until 
striking the Wisconsin, he embarked upon its 
waters in a canoe, and committing himself to the 
protection of the Blessed Virgin Immaculate, com 
menced his voyage. Day after day his frail craft 
glided on with the flow, of the current ; distance 
after distance, traced lingeringly along the winding 
channel of the stream, was measured, until, after a 
week of time and one hundred and twenty miles 
of progress, on the memorable i/th of June the 
mouth of the tributary was reached, and the suc 
cessful explorer found himself afloat on the broad 
bosom of the Mississippi. 

Upon his return from that distinguished adven 
ture, instead of retracing his course by the Wis 
consin, he struck into the Illinois, and ascended 
that river until having reached a settlement of the 
Peorias he decided, at their earnest solicitation, to 
tarry a few days in their town. He next pro 
ceeded to the Kaskaskias, another clan of the Illi 
nois, who received him with a welcome so cordial 
that he promised, as soon as possible, to revisit 
their village and establish a mission there. After 



THE JESUIT. 37 

a brief stay with this hospitable people, amply re 
warded by the privilege of conferring the rite of 
baptism upon a dying child, he bade them an 
affectionate adieu, and having crossed the inter 
vening prairie, returned by lake to Mackinaw. 

The severe exposures to which he had been sub 
jected in this expedition told seriously upon the 
health of the enterprising missionary. He had been 
attacked with dysentery in his travels. Resisting 
the remedies applied for its correction, the disease 
assumed a chronic type, and was rapidly wearing 
away his strength. That his end was approaching 
was painfully evident. But the purpose upon which 
he was bent was not to be thwarted by any hinder- 
ance short of death. Had he not pledged himself 
to the benighted Kaskaskian savages that he would 
return to declare to them the glad news of Re 
demption? Let consequences happen as they 
might, the promise must be made good. 

Thirteen months after his arrival at Mackinaw, 
in the month of October, suffering painfully still 
from his malady, but with a spirit active and 
unyielding as ever, he set out upon the arduous 
undertaking. Winter overtook him on the way, 
and impeded by the ice which had closed up the 
Chicago River, he was compelled to suspend 
progress, comforting himself as he best could with 
such protection as a rude hut, put up by his own 
hands, might afford against the inclemencies of the 
season. With the opening of the river in the early 

4 



38 BLACK-ROBES. 

spring he resumed his way, reaching his destina 
tion at length on the 8th of April. After having 
spent some time in passing from lodge to lodge, 
instructing the inmates separately in the Faith, he 
invited them to assemble in a body at an appointed 
place, near at hand, on the prairie. Here he 
erected an altar to the "Unknown God," and 
before an eager audience of over two thousand 
hearers, "declared Him unto them." 

At this newly-established mission Marquette 
continued his labors for some two weeks, when, 
with his health utterly shattered, and under a self- 
conviction now that " the time of his departure 
was at hand," he decided to return to Mackinaw, 
that he might die there, cheered in the " putting 
on of immortality" by the familiar presence of his 
brethren. Many of the Indians, to whom he had 
endeared himself by his amiable and unselfish ex 
ample, accompanied him on the way, bidding him 
adieu, reluctantly and with their warmest expres 
sions of sympathy, as, with his pair of associates, 
he took his canoe, launched from the beach, and 
glided away along the eastern and hitherto un- 
traversed coast of Lake Michigan. As they made 
advance by day, he reclined painfully, but uncom 
plainingly, in the narrow confinement of his frail 
vessel. At night he was carried ashore and laid 
to rest on the ground, with the moss, gathered from 
the decaying forest-wood, for his couch, and the 
leaves of the living trees for his covering. And so 



THE JESUIT. 39 

they journeyed on. As near high noon of a beau 
tiful day in May they approached a river, which 
empties about midway of its length into Lake 
Michigan, he ordered his oarsmen to pause, and 
indicating an elevated spot on the river-shore, he 
said that there was to be his grave. His com 
panions urged him to let them take advantage of 
the .propitious weather and row on, but he refused, 
and was carried to the land. " Say adieu to my 
Superiors," he whispered, as they laid him gently 
on the ground, the dews of death settling on his 
brow the while. " Bid farewell to my fellow-dis 
ciples of the Faith. As for yourselves, you are 
weary rest; I shall never forget you." Then 
lifting his eyes to heaven, he murmured, devoutly, 
" Sustinuit anima mea in verba ejus, Mater Dei, 
memento meiT After an hour of silent commu 
nion with God, he solemnly repeated the Creed, 
thanked the Almighty that he was permitted to die 
in that distant solitude, a brother of the Order of 
Jesus, and a victim of his devotion to the Cross. 
Then, with the name of his Redeemer on his lips, 
he bowed his head and gave up the ghost. His 
body was buried as he directed, on the bluff by 
the shore of the river that is known by his name. 
His companions erected a rude cross over the spot 
of his interment, where, after a fervent appeal for 
his saintly intercession with God in their behalf, 
they left him to his rest. 

Two years later a party of Kiskakons, members 



40 BLACK-ROBES. 

of his old charge, dug up the missionary's bones, 
and, joined on the way by canoe-loads of Iroquois, 
bore them with religious care to the station at 
Mackinaw. Here they were met by the villagers 
of the place, led in a body by the priests Pierson 
and Nouvel, who, to the chant of De Profundis, 
landed the remains, and with becoming ceremony 
bore them to the chapel for final burial. Gabriel 
Richard, a Sulpitian, stationed long years after 
wards at Detroit, who was a deputy to Congress, 
and who enjoys the higher reputation of having 
established the first printing-press in Michigan, 
visiting the locality where Marquette had died, and 
where he presumed his relics still to be, raised on 
the spot a wooden cross, and with his penknife 
carved upon it the inscription, 

"FR. JH. MARQUET 
Died here 9th May, 1675." 

This is the only monument which has ever been 
reared to his memory; but the fame of his name 
cannot perish from history, nor the renown of his 
sanctity from the traditions of the faith which he 
so nobly exemplified and so brilliantly adorned. 

Father Druilletes, a veteran apostle of the Jesu 
its, stands conspicuous among the distinguished 
missionaries of the Northwest. He enjoyed a 
special reputation because of the marked sanctity 
of his life. During the prevalence of an epidemic 
among the Indians, miraculous cures were accred- 



THE JESUIT. 4I 

ited to him, which at once established for him a 
name and an authority highly potent and influen 
tial. Under his administration the Indians of the 
Ste. Marie were, as a nation, converted to Chris 
tianity. The decree enunciatory of this revolution 
in their form of faith was issued on the nth of 
October, 1670. "The God of the Prayer," said 
the declaration, "is the Master of life;" and the 
young men, walking the streets of the village, pro 
claimed, "The Saut prays; the Saut is Christian." 
A twelvemonth's service was rewarded with the 
baptism of three hundred subjects. His miracu 
lous power operated materially in his favor. Very 
many, influenced by that distinguishing proof of 
more than common virtue, were led to conviction. 
Polygamy was renounced ; other depraved vices 
were abandoned; the medicine-men were repudi 
ated; the children were, brought to receive the 
benediction of the priests; the first fruits of their 
gathering were laid at the altar of the New God ; 
and when starting upon the war-path, that emer 
gency which, in view of its hazardous contingencies, 
is the best test of true religious conviction, their 
prayers were now addressed to the Divinity of the 
Black-Robe. 

A party of Sioux came to the Saut, in 1674, to 
negotiate a peace with the Algonquins at that 
place. At a council held at the mission-house to 
discuss the measures in dispute between the tribes, 
a member of the conference, becoming excited, 
4* 



42 BLACK-ROBES. 

sprang up, drew his knife, and brandished it defi 
antly in the face of a Dacotah. Angered at the 
outrage, the Sioux leaped to his feet, drew a blade 
from his hair, the usual place of carrying that 
weapon, shouted his war-cry, which immediately 
called his clansmen about him, rushed upon the 
Algonquins and drove them from the house. The 
expelled party retaliated by setting the building 
on fire. The Sioux ambassadors were all burned 
to death. This was a severe blow to the missionary. 
His chapel and his home were reduced to ashes. 
The Dacotahs were enraged, the Algonquins ex 
posed to continual chastisements from their ene 
mies, so that betwixt the aggressions of the one 
and the reprisals of the other there was little space 
left for the cultivation of spiritual grace. But 
Druilletes continued at his work, not without profit, 
until, after a long and faithful service, "broken by 
age, hardship, and infirmity," he returned to Que 
bec, where a few months afterwards he died. 

During a suspension of the labors of Allouez 
among the Illinois, brought about by the visit of 
La Salle, who entertained little regard for his order, 
and less for this particular brother of the Jesuits, 
Fathers Gabriel de la Ribourde, Zenobfus Membre, 
and Louis Hen-nepin of the Recollects, who had 
accompanied the celebrated explorer on his expe 
dition, opened a mission, in 1679, at Peoria. They 
vvere anxious to acquire the language of the natives, 
and, at the same time, as far as possible, to pro- 



THE JESUIT. 43 

mote the spiritual aim of their mission. For both 
these purposes, having been adopted into the fami 
lies of two of the chiefs, they had every facility ; but, 
greatly to their discouragement, the dialect was 
beyond their skill of acquisition, and the people 
seemed to be wedded to their idols irreclaimably. 
Baptism was administered to a dying warrior, but 
almost before the priest had retired from the per 
formance of the rite, the old superstition resumed its 
sway, and the chieftain expired an apostate amid 
the incantations of his own medicine-men. Father 
Membre despaired utterly. In hope of accomplish 
ing some good, he shifted the scene of his opera 
tions to another neighborhood, only to meet with 
like disappointment. Still, he and his colaborers 
toiled on, however, until hostilities broke out be 
tween the Illinois and the Iroquois, which resulted 
in the dispersion of the former. The missionaries, 
left without protection, decided to return to Green 
Bay. On the way, encountering an accident as they 
floated along the Illinois River, they got ashore, 
two of the party tarrying to repair a damage to their 
canoe, while the other, old Father Gabriel, walked 
some distance apart to repeat his breviary. While 
thus engaged, he was surprised by a raiding band 
of Kikapoos, and mercilessly murdered. After a 
fruitless search for him, his associates resumed 
their voyage, and finally reached Green Bay in 
safety. Thus began, and so disastrously ended, 
the Mission of the Recollects among the Illinois. 



44 BLACK-ROBES. 

The Jesuits determined to reoccupy the field from 
which they had retired in favor of the Recollects, 
and accordingly, in the spring of 1692, and in the 
person of Sebastien Rale, the mission at Peoria 
was reopened. Upon his arrival the excellent 
father was greeted cordially by the Indians of the 
various villages. They attended worship respect 
fully; they sent their children to receive instruc 
tion; the Prayer found favor in their eyes, and the 
morals taught in the articles of the new creed met 
with undivided approval, all save the doctrine, so 
universally distasteful, that the man must be the 
husband of but one wife. They would not repudi 
ate polygamy. Two years' toil was productive of 
little profit, and Rale, abandoning the field, with 
drew to his original charge among the Abenakis 
in Main?. 

James Gravier, who had previously made a pass 
ing visit to the post, returned to supply the vacancy 
created by the retirement of Rale. The labors of 
his predecessors, although unsuccessful on the 
whole, had not b&~n expended entirely in vain. 
About fifty Peorians and Kaskaskias were either 
converts or favorably inclined towards Christianity, 
but the large majority were devoted to the super 
stitions of their fathers. The forms of chapel- 
service had been maintained by the faithful with 
due observance since the departure of Rale, a 
venerable chief assuming the priestly vicarship for 
the time, himself making the tour of the village, 



THE JESUIT. 45 

morning and evening, to invite the attendance of 
worshipers. Deprived of a competent spiritual 
leader, however, and exposed to the active an 
tagonism of the medicine-men, there was imminent 
risk of an early relapse into heathenism. This 
native school of prophets had witnessed with alarm 
the progress of a confession which, once accepted, 
must prove ruinous to their occupation, and, un 
happily countenanced by the licentious soldiery of 
the French fort close by, were using their best 
endeavors to arrest its further advance. It was, 
therefore, with feeling of joyful gratitude that the 
handful of persevering neophytes hailed the arrival 
of the missionary. The prophets immediately 
organized in array against this their new and for 
midable adversary. They assailed him with mis 
representation, mockery, and maltreatment. They 
ridiculed the ceremonies of his office; they charged 
that his charities were but mischiefs in disguise; 
that his rosaries were charms for pernicious prac 
tices; that the baptismal water was a distillation 
of venom, which it was death to be bedewed with, 
and an epidemic having begun to prevail among 
them that he had created the infection, relief 
from which could only be had through his expul 
sion from their village. Nevertheless, the patient 
but fearless father continued to labor on, sustained 
by the consciousness of fulfilling his duty, if not 
comforted by the results attending his efforts But 
the day of recompense was at hand. 



46 BLACK-ROBES. 

Michael Ako, a Frenchman, who had served 
with Hennepin in his Upper Mississippi voyage of 
exploration, withdrew from his comrades on their 
return, and retired to Peoria, where he remained, 
conducting a small but lucrative trade at that 
settlement. He was a man of unquestionable 
energy, but notoriously profligate in his habits. 
Among his associates at the fort he enjoyed the 
distinction of an intimacy with the chief of the 
Kaskaskias. This chief had a daughter, most at 
tractive, as attraction ran among the dusky maidens 
of the villages, who, having been reared under 
training of the priests, and in the clearer illumina 
tion of the True Light than was vouchsafed to her 
sisterhood of the clans, had knelt at the Cross and 
offered her vows at the shrine of the Beautiful 
Devotion. The libertine Ako met the lovely 
Kaskaskian, was captivated by her charms, and 
solicited her hand in marriage of her father. The 
sachem, gratified with the proposal, promptly in 
dicated his approval; but Mary, when the suit of 
her lover was preferred, declined the overture. She 
had heard how the virgins of the French, who 
were ardent in the faith, were wont to renounce all 
meaner attachments, and banded together in seclu 
sion from the world, to expend their lives, for 
Christ's sake and that of the Blessed Mother of 
Purity, in works of charity and mercy. Stirred by 
their generous example, she had determined upon 
a like dedication of herself. The father, angered 



THE JESUIT. 47 

at her refusal, tore the clothing from her person, 
and drove her naked from his lodge into the street. 
Then convoking a council of the chiefs, he made 
known his grievance, charged the responsibility of 
it on the French missionary, and asked, and 
obtained, an order prohibiting attendance at his 
services. But the priest fearlessly threw open the 
doors of his chapel, and the few whose fealty had 
stood the test of similar proscriptions before, and 
who were not to be intimidated now, followed to 
the sanctuary according to custom, in defiance of 
the prohibition. The disaffected then attempted 
to blockade the approaches to the chapel; and 
finally, finding even that expedient ineffectual, one 
of the leaders rushed into the building, brandishing 
his tomahawk, and threatening death to all unless 
they instantly withdrew. Gravier stood firmly at 
his post; not one of his flock manifesting the 
slightest disposition to desert him, until abashed 
by their behavior, the intruder had withdrawn. 
The garrison at the fort, instead of offering that 
protection to the missionary which the common 
sympathies of race and religion ought to have 
commanded, joined with the savages in their abuse 
and violence. 

While the feud was still raging, the chief's 
daughter herself interposed, waited upon Father 
Gravier, and offered that if the surrender might 
quiet the disturbance of the people, she was willing, 
with his permission, to forego her choice and sub- 



4 8 BLACK-ROBES. 

mit to the proposed sacrifice. " If I consent to the 
marriage," said she, " my father will listen to you, 
and induce the rest to do so. I desire to please 
God, and will yield for love of Him." The mis 
sionary gave his approval, and, " more a victim 
than a bride," Ako led the Kaskaskian maiden to 
the altar. 

This episode in the domestic life of the chief, 
which threatened while it lasted the very exist 
ence of the mission, proved, in the end, the most 
fortunate incident that could have happened. The 
bride of Ako, a young woman of more than ordi 
nary force of character, was conscientious and 
earnest in her convictions. The impressions which 
had resulted in her conversion, while keenly defined 
on the sensitive surface, were deeply stamped as 
well into the very substance of her heart ; so that 
with more than the enthusiasm, as was natural, of 
her priestly teachers, she had all of their depth and 
determination of feeling. What was denied to her 
as a novice in a convent, she undertook as a wife 
in a wigwam, enforcing persuasively the claims of 
religion as she had opportunity. Ako was the 
first to succumb to her influence, and, from the 
profligate that he had been, was reformed into a 
model of piety. Her father followed next, and the 
bitter agent of persecution became, like Saul of 
Tarsus, the vigorous champion of the faith. 

A great feast was prepared, to which the leading 
men of the villages of the clan were invited. The 



THE JESUIT. 49 

chief arose in their midst, and, expressing contri 
tion for past offenses, declared openly his renun 
ciation of heathenism, calling upon his guests to 
go and do likewise. While the chief counseled 
the men, the young wife exhorted the women. 
The force of their leader's example, and of his 
daughter's eloquence, did not fail of effect. Gravier 
devoted himself to the instruction of his now willing 
hearers. Mary, taking for her themes the pictures 
which the priests had provided, and by which she 
had been taught herself, pictures illustrative of 
interesting passages in the life of Jesus, told over 
the touching stories which they represented, the 
story of the birth in the manger at Bethlehem, 
of the opening of the eyes of the Blind Beggar of 
Jericho, of the raising of the Dead Man of Bethany, 
of the Cross, and of the Resurrection. Her clan- 
folk listened, wondered, and relented. Men and 
women began to pray ; children laid aside their 
implements of play, and, wandering by in groups, 
sang the hymns which the missionary composed 
for them, in the streets of the village, so that within 
the space of eight months this gracious awakening 
resulted in the baptism of two hundred and six souls. 
Gravier remained at, and in the neighborhood 
of, Peoria until 1699, when he was recalled to 
Mackfnaw. The next year he made the voyage 
of the Mississippi, following it to its mouth. 
Thence he returned to his station on the Illinois, 
resumed his labors, roused again, unluckily, the 

5 



50 BLACK-ROBES. 

hostility of the medicine-men, and in a fray excited 
by these antagonists, received a severe wound, from 
the effects of which he died. 

The first attempts at the erection of a mission in 
Southern Michigan, according to the testimony of 
the few of the tribe of the Pottawottamies still to 
be found on the spot, was made, perhaps, as early 
as 1675. The successful achievement of the pro 
ject was accomplished in 1680. Father Allouez, 
in that year, attended by Dablon, after having 
coasted Lake Michigan from Green Bay, entered 
the St. Joseph River, so called in honor of the 
patron saint of Canada, and making advance against 
its tide, proceeded until, some twenty-five miles 
(fifty by the river) from its mouth, he reached the 
locality now the seat of the inviting town of Niles. 
About half a mile up-stream from the heart of the 
town a narrow belt of boggy lowland lying be 
tween it and the river rises a semicircular bluff, 
at the base of which, and through the soil of the 
marshy level, runs a brook which empties its slen 
der contribution of supply into the St. Joseph. On 
this bluff, up till within twenty-five years since, if 
not now, the traces were plainly distinguishable of 
a fortification, the cross planted at the time of its 
construction, and still to be seen, in the rear of it, 
indicating by whom, and for what use, it waS built. 
Here, conveniently established between an encamp 
ment of Miamis on one side of the river, and three 
several settlements one at Pokegan, a second on 



THE JESUIT. 51 

the shores of what are now known as the Notre 
Dame Lakes, and the third and principal one, close 
by the fort of the Pottawottamies on the other, 
Allouez built a chapel (a brewery occupies the site 
now), and near by, a log cabin for his own accommo 
dation. His labors were carried on successfully, and 
without the occurrence of any extraordinary event 
to invest them with special interest. After a faith 
ful service of several years, he died in the summer 
of 1690. His ashes repose in the graveyard of the 
Catholic mission at Niles. The establishment was 
kept up, part of the time under the ministry of 
Chardon, " a man wonderful, in the gift of tongues, 
speaking fluently nearly all the Indian languages 
of the Northwest," until 1759. In that year the 
French 'garrison of Fort St. Joseph was attacked 
by a party of English soldiers, the engagement re 
sulting, after a fierce contest, in the defeat of the 
French. The survivors of the garrison, including 
the priests, were carried away, prisoners, to Quebec. 
The mission, thus violently dissolved, was not re 
organized for nearly a hundred years. In 1830, 
Father Stephen Badin pitched his tent in the 
vicinity, revived the faith among the Pottawotta 
mies, built a chapel on the little St. Mary's Lake, 
near South Bend, bought a section of land, which, 
conveyed to the Bishop of Vincennes, through him 
was dedicated, in the interests of education, to the 
church, and is now the seat of that notable institu 
tion of learning the University of Notre Dame. 



52 BLACK-ROBES. 

We have noticed the labors of the earliest, and 
most prominent, of the Jesuit fathers concerned in 
the leading missionary movements of the North 
west. These distinguished pioneers were not left 
to struggle alone. As the exigencies of service 
called, willing hearts were ready to respond, and 
recruit after recruit followed until the Black-Robe 
became a presence common and familiar among 
the tribes of the region. While Marest and Gui- 
gnas penetrated the vast wastes west of Lake Supe 
rior, and bordering on the Mississippi, proclaiming 
redemption to the Sioux, Mermet made his pil 
grimage across the intervening prairies, and planted 
the standard of faith, where a colony of Mascoutens 
had formed a lodgment, on the banks of the Ohio. 
While Louis Andre made his canoe his habitation, 
and visited, one by one in regular circuit, the vil 
lages clustering around Green Bay, Aubert toiled 
amid the snow-fields bordering upon the bound 
aries of the Far Northwest, how faithfully, and 
at what sacrifice, the Indians tarrying there to-day 
attest, as they lead the visitor to an island in the 
Lake of the Woods, and, repeating the melancholy 
story of his end, point out the blood-stained rock 
on which he was slaughtered. 

Thus by the feet, the beautiful feet of them that 
bring glad tidings of good things, were borne the 
messages of the gospel. Thus did the energetic 
Jesuit press his ministry, till not a village, not a 
camp, on plain or water-course, where flitting clans- 






THE JESUIT. 53 

men pitched their tents, while through a summer's 
noon, or a winter's, they followed the chase or 
dipped their nets in quest of food, not a wigwam 
in all the wilderness was left in which his presence 
was not known, and where his spiritual counsels 
were not heard. 



IV. 



THE LEGEND OF THE DEFEAT OF THE ERIES. 

THAT portion of the West, including the 
meadows and uplands watered and drained 
by the upper Ohio and its tributaries, seems, down 
to a comparatively recent date, to have been, almost 
entirely, an uninhabited waste, ranged over, no 
doubt, in their hunting tours, by bands of Indians 
from the north, but without a fixed population of 
its own. Of these game-seeking adventurers, those 
that frequented the valleys and hills of the Alle- 
ghany River were likely of the Iroquois tribe, while 
the wider extent of territory lying to the west, most 
probably, constituted the sporting-ground of the 
Eries. The settlements of the Iroquois clustered 
along the Mohawk Valley and about the several 
lakes, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca, in 
New York, while those of the Eries, beginning 
5* 



54 BLACK-ROBES. 

with Tu-shu-wa, which occupied the site of the 
present city of Buffalo, extended westward along 
the whole length of the southern shore of the lake 
that bears their name. The Eries were a strong, 
proud, and warlike people, ambitious to preserve 
that eminence among the tribes which their valor 
had won, and which their vigilance thus far in their 
history had protected. 

There is a story told as to how, at their own 
seeking, the prowess of which they boasted was 
put to the test, followed with the detail of the 
catastrophe, fearful and fatal, which attended the 
experiment, and thus runs the legend : 

Daganoweda, a wise man of the Onondaga na 
tion, aroused to the conviction that the practice of 
secession so common among the tribes, where, at 
pleasure, whole clans were wont to detach them 
selves and seek out new settlements for the plant 
ing of new organizations, was the secret of the 
weakness of a people, set himself at work not 
merely to correct the custom, but to carry out the 
opposite theory naturally suggested, and effect, if 
possible, a general consolidation of the several 
neighboring tribes of his region. He laid his 
scheme, carefully and shrewdly prepared to its 
minutest details, both as touching the form of 
union, and the laws by which its affairs should be 
regulated, before some of the leading minds of 
the respective nations ; brought about a conven- 



THE JESUIT. 55 

tion, on the banks of the Ga-nun-ta-a, or Onondaga 
Lake, of the prominent sages of each ; carried 
through the project successfully, and effected the 
erection of the formidable Confederacy of the Ho- 
de-rro-sau-nee, or Five Nations. 

When the tidings of this coalition was carried to 
their towns, the Eries, or Sag-a-neh-gi, became 
alarmed. Right confidently, nay eagerly, would 
they have taken to the war-path against Seneca 
singly, or Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, or Mohawk, 
but the forces united of the five, numbered an array 
too commanding in its proportions to be regarded 
with feelings of indifference. The object of the 
combination was readily conjectured; but, new 
bond and all, were not the Sag-a-neh-gi, even 
though numerically inferior, still, in activity, skill, 
bravery, all the elements, indeed, that go to make 
up the finished warrior, their more than peers? 
As a matter of prudent precaution for where were 
they left with their proud prestige as Lords of the 
Lake departed ? they decided to put the question 
to the test. 

A runner was dispatched to the Ho-nan-ne-ho- 
onts, or Senecas, the border tribe of the confeder 
ates, with a friendly challenge to meet them at 
Tu-shu-wa in a friendly game of ball a hundred 
chosen men against a hundred for a wager of 
such value as might be mutually agreed upon. 
The messenger was honorably received by the 
Senecas; the proposition laid before the council, 



56 BLACK-ROBES. 

discussed, voted upon, and rejected. The Eries, 
elated with this implied admission, as they chose 
to interpret the answer, of their superior prowess, 
renewed the challenge. It was again considered 
by their neighbors, and again declined. When the 
defi was delivered for the third time, the older 
heads of the council would have given a final re 
fusal, but the younger warriors began to murmur 
at the action of their elders. Who were these vain 
braggarts, these burrowers in the banks of the 
Great Lake, that they should creep from their 
holes to fling insolence in the faces of the Warders 
of the Threshold of the Long House ? The de 
liberate judgment of the counselors gave' way to 
the pressure. The challenge was accepted. 

A hundred athletes, of faultless proportion, and 
approved in wind and limb, were selected for the 
contest. Armed, each one, with his implement of 
play, a slender hickory sapling, cut of suitable 
length, bowed at one end like a battledoor, and 
having the .hoop stoutly laced athwart-wise with 
the dried and twisted sinews of the deer, they 
formed into file, took up their march, and cheered 
by the wild applause of their clansmen as they left, 
were soon lost to view in the shadows of the forest. 
A fleet-footed messenger was sent in advance to 
notify the Sag-a-neh-gis of their coming. Arrived 
at the spot, an open space put carefully in order 
for the occasion, close by the village, and near the 
lake, the Seneca champions produced their val- 



THE JESUIT. 57 

uablos belts of finely-carved and polished wam 
pum, bracelets and rings of silver and copper, 
moccasins trimmed with crimsoned moose hair, 
and embroidered with painted quills of the porcu 
pine, shells of purple and gold, with pearls of the 
purest water and assorted them in heaps upon 
the ground. The Eries produced their trinkets 
of greatest rarity, beauty, and value, and placed 
them in corresponding piles, side by side with 
the others. 

The hour of contest arrived. The game opened 
briskly, and was conducted with great skill by both 
parties, but resulted in the triumph of the Senecas. 
The victors behaved with a modest propriety 
scarcely to be expected under the circumstances ; 
indulging in no parade of exultation, but quietly 
collecting the trophies won in the strife, and pro 
ceeding to re-invest themselves in their loose robes, 
laid aside while at exercise, preparatory to their 
departure. Nettled at the issue, and anxious to 
win a revenge for their discomfiture, the Sag-a- 
neh-gis invited their competitors to tarry over 
another day and have a new trial of merit at a foot 
race. The invitation was accepted. Ten men 
were selected from each of the parties by their 
respective chieftains, and next morning were led to 
the course appointed for the contest. Again were 
the Eries defeated. The chagrin which they natu 
rally felt at the result was materially heightened 
from the fact that the Kaukwas, a neighboring 



58 BLACK-ROBES. 

clan present as invited guests, were witnesses of 
the failure. 

To redeem, if possible, their lost honors, a 
wrestling match was proposed, and agreed to, upon 
the terms that the successful champion in each 
trial should cleave the skull of his fallen adversary, 
and carry away his scalp, to be worn in his belt as 
a trophy of the victory. The savage stipulation 
was distasteful to the Senecas, but to take excep 
tion to it would be to expose themselves to the 
charge of cowardice, a charge which native pride 
could never brook ; they, therefore, interposed no 
objection, but, after consultation, decided that in 
case of success on their side, they would retire from 
the field without inflicting the murderous penalty. 
The day following was the time appointed, and, at 
their invitation, the village of the Kaukwas, some 
eighteen miles distant, the place for the contest. 
When the parties had assembled and the signal 
was given, a Seneca stepped promptly into the 
ring. He was as promptly met by a champion of 
the Eries. After a short struggle the Sag-a-neh-gi 
was brought to the ground, but the victorious Ho- 
nan-ne-ho-ont, refusing to inflict the mortal penalty 
upon his prostrate competitor, turned on his heel, 
and, amid their hearty applause, retired to the 
circle of his friends. The chief of the Eries no 
sooner witnessed the movement than, with a 
bound, he leaped to the side of his fallen clans 
man, and with a blow of the tomahawk that buried 



THE JESUIT. 59 

the blade of the weapon to its haft in his head, left 
him dead on the spot where he had fallen. 

A second and a third encounter followed with a 
like result, each defeated champion being brained 
in turn, and his lifeless remains dragged from the 
arena, to clear the space for a new contestant and 
a fresh victim of sacrifice. Excitement, intense at 
first among the Sag-a-neh-gi, grew wilder and 
fiercer with each succeeding catastrophe. Fearful 
of still more fatal consequences if the dueling were 
kept up, the leader of the Senecas, after the third 
engagement, called his partisans around him, stated 
his apprehensions, and advised an immediate re 
tirement from the field. Acting upon the sugges 
tion, the force of which was fully appreciated, they 
quietly fell back from their position, till, without 
awakening suspicion as to their intent, they had 
gotten beyond arrow-flight of pursuit, when, taking 
to the cover of the woods, they were off at a leap, 
and presently far away on the trails that led to 
their native lodges. Taken by surprise at the 
unexpected manoeuvre, and perhaps restrained by 
the reflection that, as invited guests, the Senecas 
were honorably entitled to safe departure, the Sag- 
a-neh-gis did not attempt to follow, but gathering 
up the bodies of their slain, returned crestfallen 
and dejected to their wigwams at Tu-shu-wa. 

The result of the contest was well calculated to 
create uneasiness in the minds of the Eries. They 
had failed, signally failed, in all the exercises 



60 BLACK-ROBES. 

exercises of their own choosing in which they 
had been engaged. Their adversaries had proved 
themselves not only men of nerve and substance, 
but schooled, moreover, to dexterous and vigorous 
action. On the war-path it would be no holiday 
pastime to come to clubs against them. If so 
much might be argued of a single member, what 
was not to be apprehended of the united house of 
the new confederacy? That hostile designs were 
in reserve, sooner or later, to be put in force against 
the outside, unaffiliated nations by the league, was 
a settled conviction, for upon no other argument, 
according to savage ratiocination, could the novel 
and extraordinary compact be accounted for. The 
wise men of the tribe took the question into con 
sideration. After due deliberation it was resolved 
that to guard against the contingencies likely to 
arise, it became them to adopt decisive measures, 
and that rather than await an invasion of the 
enemy, it was their surer policy themselves to 
assume the aggressive. The plan agreed upon was 
to bring out their whole force, make a sudden de 
scent upon the Senecas, then, if successful in their 
surprise-assault, to advance against the Cayugas, 
and so successively against the Onondagas, Onei- 
das, and Mohawks, until all were annihilated. The 
scheme was bold, but if secretly and expeditiously 
dispatched, entirely practicable. 

Among the women of the tribe was one, a 
childless widow, by parentage and early belonging 



THE JESUIT. 6 1 

a Seneca, but who, in one of their former forays, 
had been captured by a party of Eries,' with whom 
she had since dwelt as the wife, while he lived, and 
afterwards as the widow, of one of their warriors!" 
New associations and attachments had left her 
content with her captivity, but not to the forgetful- 
ness of the old home on the slopes of the Nun- 
da-war-o-noh-gi or of her kindred. When the 
decision of the council had transpired, unde'r a 
quick realization of the fearful calamity in store 
for her people, she determined to interfere for its 
prevention. When the darkness of night had 
fairly settled over the village, and its inhabitants 
were wrapped in slumber, she stole cautiously 
from her lodge, and wending her way along the 
irregular avenues of the town, soon found herself 
beyond its limits. Following the course of the 
Niagara River, she hurried on through the gloom 
of. the forests, with only such light to guide her 
steps as falling from the stars dropped winkingly 
through the thick leaves overarching her path, 
until, as the dawn peeped over the waters, she 
found herself on the shore of Lake Ontario. Some 
wanderer early abroad, or perhaps a benighted 
hunter in the woods, had left his canoe, tied to a 
tree, on the margin of the lake. She undid the 
astening, leaped into the vessel, and shoved out 
into the water. Coasting the lake she plied her 
oar with unflagging energy, and by nightfall 
reached a settlement of the Senecas at the mouth 
6 



62 BLACK-ROBES. 

of the Oswego River. She hastened to the wig 
wam of one of the principal chiefs, and there 
unfolded the scheme of treachery which-had been 
"plotted in the councils of the Sag-a-neh-gis. 

Swift-footed messengers were dispatched, with 
out delay, to carry the intelligence to the tribes of 
the confederacy. Speedily, as if borne on the 
wings of a bird, was the news communicated 
through the length and breadth of the land. The 
fire was kindled on the shore of the Onondaga, 
the great League-Fire of the Ho-de-san-no-ge-ta, 
the Custodians of the Council Brand, and at the 
summons gathered in from their remotest settle 
ments from the meadows of the Mohawk, from 
the sylvan abodes on the Oneida and Cayuga the 
wise men and the warriors of the Nation. The 
conference was brief. With the prompt action 
characteristic of the confederates, it was decided 
to instantly marshal their forces, move into the 
menaced territory of the Senecas, and there await 
the invasion of the enemy. The march, five thou 
sand men in file, began. At Canandaigua Lake 
report was had, through their runners, that the 
Eries had crossed the Genesee, and were rapidly 
moving eastward. Unconscious of the betrayal 
of their plans, they were pressing on, briskly and 
eagerly, in full confidence of success. 

The armies met at Honeoye, a little lake at half 
distance between Canandaigua and the Genesee, 
separated only by a narrow sluice, the bed of the 



THE JESUIT. 63 

streamlet through which the surplus water of the 
lake was discharged. No sooner did the Sag-a- 
neh-gis discover the presence of their foe than, 
with a yell that pierced the forest to its remotest 
solitude, they sprang to the conflict. The shock 
of the onset was terrific. Midway in the channel 
of the stream they came together. Knife met 
knife in the hand-to-hand grapple; their blades, 
now lifted for the stroke flashed in the light, now 
descended after the fatal blow, dripping with crim 
son. The brook ran red with blood. The con 
federates could not resist the impetuous headway 
of the attack. Inch by inch, until they were forced 
back some distance from the bed of the rivulet, 
did they retreat; the Eries, encouraged by success, 
pushing forward with redoubled spirit, ad filling 
the air with whoops of triumph. Victory seemed 
within grasp of the assailants when the complexion 
of affairs experienced a change. 

In arranging their plan of assault, the confeder 
ates had detached from their main body a company 
of a thousand youths, neophytes as yet in warlike 
service, who were ordered to make a detour 
through the woods, and, throwing themselves be 
hind the enemy, to open an attack on their rear. 
The movement was accomplished, and just in time 
far opportune relief at the critical juncture referred 
to. The customary yell attending the charge into 
action was the first indication had of their presence 
and purpose. The Eries were taken greatly by 



64 BLACK-ROBES. 

surprise; nevertheless, although the circumstance 
served to chill the ardor of their hopes materially, 
they recoiled not from the odds, but battled on 
with unabated energy. But the fiery zeal of the 
youths, who had their virgin laurels to win, as well 
as the honor and integrity of the Long House to 
strike for, was an added element in the contest, 
which even the most stubborn resistance was not 
equal to. The valiant Sag-a-neh-gis maintained 
their high reputation well. They fought, they fell, 
they died, but they would not yield; and it was 
only: over the strewn carcasses of the slain, and 
through a way hewn wearily out by stroke of 
tomahawk and knife, that the confederates were 
able to gain back, foot by foot, the ground which 
they had4ost. 

The result of a conflict where personal fortitude, 
address, and power of endurance were evenly 
balanced, and where superiority in numerical 
strength must determine the issue, may be antici 
pated. When the clash of battle ceased at last, 
and the wild acclaims of victory pealed from the 
lips of the exultant Ho de-no-sau-nee, it was the 
outburst of a jubilation that could provoke no 
response; for of all the gallant array that had 
striven so valiantly for honor and conquest, save 
here and there a solitary craven who, during the 
fray, had taken to flight, not a living warrior was 
left to be moved lo mortification or resentment, or 
to breathe defiance against the conquerors. The 



THE JESUIT. 65 

Sag-a-neh-gi, as a name among the nations, was 
blotted out forever. 

As the ancients of the tribes the broken remnant 
of the old nation of renown sit in the sunshine 
at their cabin-doors, stringing their beads or plait 
ing their braids for the tawdry trinkets in which 
they traffic, in these latter degenerate days, such 
is the tale with which they talk away a summer's 
hour for the entertainment of idlers that choose to 
loiter and listen. Let the preliminary details of 
the tradition meet with what acceptance they may, 
the crowning fact of the catastrophe is undeniably 
authentic. The battle between the Eries and the 
Iroquois took place in or about the year 1654, and 
resulted, as the narrative sets forth, in the com 
plete extermination of the former. Their broad 
lands became a possession of the confederates, 
the first of a series of acquisitions that were to go 
on until the empire of the Ho-de-no-sau-nee reached 
from Carolina to Canada, and from the seashore to 
the Mississippi. 



V. 



THE FAITH ON THE PENNSYLVANIA BORDER AND IN 
THE VALLEYS OF LA BELLE RIVIERE. 

ALTHOUGH the annihilation of the Eries left 
the Iroquois in undisputed ownership of the 
territory, there was no permanent occupation of 
the upper Ohio valley region for many years after 
wards. The labors of the early Jesuit missionaries, 
therefore, among this people, were limited to their 
original settlements on the lakes. Twelve years 
before the date of the defeat of the Eries that 
event so remote as to be without a positive history, 
mummied, as it were, amid the obscurities of tra 
ditional times the Black-Robe had crossed the 
St. Lawrence, and planted the Cross in the wilds 
of Western New York. In the summer of that 
year Father Jogues, together with Rene Goupel 
the " Good Rene," and Ahistari, a converted chief 
of the Hurons, were captured by a party of Mo 
hawks, on their return from a successful raid 
into the Canada country. Jogues, after having 
his finger-nails torn out, his fingers gnawed to the 
bone, and been forced to run the " narrow path to 
Paradise," as he terms the gauntlet, was hurried 
along to one of the nearest villages of his captors. 
Here he found a scaffold erected, on which were 
placed a number of Hurons, prisoners like himself, 
(66) 



THE JESUIT. 67 

destined apparently for instant execution. Several 
of these were catechumens, who, in happier days, 
had received instruction from his lips in the lodges 
on their native lakes. 

Forgetful of his own afflictions, the generous 
father at once entered upon his priestly duty, 
offering whatever of spiritual consolation he could 
impart to the captives, enlightening the ignorant, 
confessing the faithful, and qualifying the convert 
for the redeeming rite of baptism. There were 
those among the doomed on the scaffold who were 
anxious to undergo this sacramental ceremony, but 
there was no water at command to meet the want 
of the occasion. It so happened, fortunately, 
providentially, rather, the zealous believer would 
regard it, that a savage passing by flung a stalk 
of green corn on the platform. It was in the morn 
ing. The distillations of the night had not wasted 
as yet under the temperate warmth of the hour, 
and from the dews that clung to the long blades of 
the maize the eager servant of Jesus gathered the 
precious drops that served his purpose, and the 
saving rite was accomplished. The prisoners, for 
the time being, however, were reprieved, all ex 
cept the natives Ahasistari, Paul, and Stephen, who, 
with the cruelties common in such cases, were put 
to death, one in each of the three towns of the tribe 
through which they passed. Rene Goupel, who, 
at liberty or in bonds, never failed in God's service 
when opportunity offered, for having attempted to 



68 BLACK-ROBES. 

make the sign of a cross on the brow of a child, 
was cleft through the skull with a tomahawk, near 
the village of Andagoran. Jogues himself, although 
through repeated miraculous escapes, and at the 
cost of cruel suffering, escaped the fate of his com 
panions. Kept under strict surveillance as a pris 
oner, he was nevertheless, after awhile, allowed 
the freedom of the villages, where he employed 
himself contributing to the spiritual comfort of the 
Huron captives, and the instruction, where it was 
tolerated, of their savage masters. As the fruits 
of his labor during the few months of his forced 
sojourn among the Mohawks, he reckons in his 
record of the service "about seventy baptisms, be 
sides many confessions." Having received friendly 
warning, at length, that the Mohawks, exasperated 
by a late defeat before Fort Richelieu, had deter 
mined to revenge themselves by the sacrifice of 
his life, he managed to effect his escape into the 
Dutch settlements on the Hudson. 

In 164.6, having in the mean time sailed for Eu 
rope, visited Rome, and been honored by Pope 
Innocent XL, because of the tortures he had un 
dergone, with the title of Martyr, Jogues was ap 
pointed by the Superior to revisit the scene of his 
captivity and establish a mission there among the 
Mohawks. To cross the St. Lawrence, then, was to 
venture into the jaws of death. But he upon whom 
the agents of hell had done their cruelest already 
the single living Martyr of all the dead was 



THE* JESUIT. 69 

not to be deterred from the mission. "Ibo" said 
he, as he wrapped his dark gown about him, kissed 
his crucifix, and started on his journey, " Ibo et 
non redibo /" He went, and he never returned. 

John Lalande, a Frenchman, attended the doomed 
father when he started. After having proceeded 
some distance on their way, they encountered a 
band of savages, painted and clad in the colors 
and costume of war, by whom they were seized, 
bound, and conducted to Gandawague, a Mohawk 
village on the Caughnawaga. In a conference 
which was held, after their arrival there, a division 
arose as to the disposition that should be made of 
the prisoners, some of the clans advising their 
release, the rest insisting upon their execution. 
While the council deliberated it was in the even 
ing one of its members withdrew, and, under 
pretense of hospitality, invited the prisoners to his 
cabin. As they were about to enter, a savage, con 
cealed behind the door, sprang out, and, with his 
tomahawk, cleft the skull of the missionary. La 
lande shared the fate of his distinguished companion. 

Seven years after the unhappy adventure of 
Jogues, John Le Moyne took up the cross, and, 
undismayed by the cruel fate of his predecessor, 
followed into the field left unoccupied by the death 
of the Martyr. Arrived at Onondaga, he consented, 
at the invitation of some of the Iroquois, backed 
by the entreaties of the Huron captives detained 
there, to open a mission at that town. This settle- 



;o BLACK-ROBES. 

ment was discovered to be peculiarly desirable, as 
it afforded a larger scope to his influence than 
could be commanded at any other point, in that it 
was discovered to be the central capital of the Long 
House, where the representatives of the Nations 
were accustomed to assemble in their annual coun 
cils, and whence, consequently, radiated, to a con 
trolling extent, the influences, moral and political, 
which moulded the convictions and fashioned the 
character of the common population of the con 
federacy. 

The early labors of Le Moyne were promisingly 
successful, especially among the Hurons, who, as 
sociating the rites of worship with the memories 
of the homes from which they had been torn, were 
all the more favorably inclined to its observances 
in their captivity. Nor was their example lost 
upon the Iroquois. 

The good priest had served but a few months at 
his post when the news the great news, heralded, 
according to the legend, by the captive Seneca 
woman of the advance of the Eries was blazed 
abroad from fire to fire throughout the tribes of 
the Nation. Of the warriors who gathered at the 
call of the council to meet the invasion, was one, 
an Onondaga chief, Achiongeras, a man excellent 
in reputation among the captains of the clans. On 
the eve of his departure he called on the Black- 
Robe, pictured to him the perils he was about to 
encounter, declared that his courage must fail him 



THE JESUIT. 71 

if not inspired by brighter assurances for the future 
than the superstitions of heathenism afforded, and 
implored that he might be received into the con 
fession and under the protection of the faith of the 
Prayer. Persuaded, after due investigation, that 
his convictions were genuine and sincere, Le 
Moyne led him to the water, and, by the mystical 
rite of the church, admitted him into its commu 
nion. The converted chief, with the dews of bap 
tism yet damp on his brow, then started on his 
march, and, at the head of his savage legion, was 
soon forth from the village and away on the war 
path. 

The opposing forces came together. The battle 
waged long and fiercely, and the lines of the Iro- 
quois were slowly but steadily giving way before 
the enemy, when Achiongeras, whose intrepid 
bearing had made him conspicuous in the fight, 
suddenly paused and beckoned to the braves who 
supported him. They gathered about him at the 
signal. Dropping upon his knee, the Christian 
chief lifted his crimsoned hands towards heaven, 
the group of assembled clansmen imitating the 
action, when with a solemn vow they unitedly 
plighted their faith, and that of their people, to the 
God of the Prayer would He vouchsafe them rescue 
in this* crisis of their peril. The vow was honored. 
Animated afresh, as by a divine inspiration, the 
wavering band regained its footing, won back its 
lost advantage, and, profiting by the recovery, 



72 BLACK-ROBES. 

paused not until the strife was over, and the field 
triumphantly, overwhelmingly won. 

Achiongeras and his companions were true to 
their pledge. After the return of the victorious 
army, a general council was called, when, by 
solemn decree, Christianity was established in the 
capital of the confederacy. The French were in 
vited over to plant a settlement. Fathers Menard, 
Dablon, Broar, and Boursier, under lead of the Su 
perior of the mission, assumed the direction of the 
enterprise. The party, attended by a numerous 
escort of savages, launched their fleet of canoes 
at Quebec, ascended the St. Lawrence, with the 
banner of the Cross waving its silken folds in the 
gentle May-breeze at its head, and amid the roar 
of cannon, and the ringing cheers of waiting multi 
tudes, landed, after a tedious but prosperous voyage, 
on the shores of Onondaga, where, after consum 
mating the trifling arrangements necessary for 
their own temporary shelter, they proceeded di 
rectly to the erection of a house of worship. And 
so arose the great central Mission of St. Mary's of 
Ga-nun-ta-a. 

Among the branches of this chief station, estab 
lished as they were in each of the tribal districts 
of the Ho-de-no-sau-nee, and through which the 
Sacred Mysteries, to the enlightenment of all, and 
the happy conversion of thousands, were made to 
reach the ears of the people, was the one organized 
by Father Chaumonot, at Gandagare, among the 



THE JESUIT. 73 

Senecas. This worthy pioneer labored diligently 
at his post, and was permitted to rejoice, as one of 
the first fruits of his toil, in the conversion of An- 
nontenritaoui, the head chief of his tribe. Frenin, 
Allouez, Raffeix, Pierron, Gamier, and others, fol 
lowed soon after, all exerting themselves in the 
duties of their office so profitably, that when, some 
years after, the English asserted their claim to the 
region, and the Jesuits were forced to abandon the 
ground, they left upwards of five hundred baptized 
natives, as conservators of the Faith, behind them. 

When the Senecas, therefore, began to occupy 
the lands along the western valleys left vacant by 
the expulsion of their enemies, although unat 
tended by the Black-Robes, they went not out in 
ignorance of the saving belief of the Prayer. They 
carried the Cross with them, and the name of Jesus 
was not strange in the ears of the people whose 
wigwams soon dotted the valley of the Alleghany, 
and whose tents were pitched down by the shores 
of the Beautiful River. The old chief Shekellamy, 
of the Cayugas, father of Tah-gah-jute, renowned 
under the more familiar name of Logan, had knelt 
in confession, and taken his vows, at the altar of 
God. Anastasius was in the communion of the 
church, he, the chieftain of Loretto, who led the 
Indians from the fort at De-un-da-ga, old Fort 
Duquesne, and was mainly instrumental in the 
defeat of Braddock on the Monongahela. 

By the middle of the eighteenth century, when 
7 



74 BLACK-ROBES. 

the early white traders began to extend their com 
merce beyond the mountains, numerous settle 
ments were found at different localities on the 
Ohio, composed, besides the Iroquois, but subject 
to them, of the Shawanese from Florida, and Dela- 
wares immigrated from Eastern Pennsylvania. The 
first prophet from abroad to lift up his voice in this 
new wilderness was Denis Baron, a Recollect, who 
had come to serve as chaplain to the French soldiery 
at the occupation of Fort Duquesne, or the " Fort 
of the Assumption," by which title it appears to have 
been dedicated on the first recurrence of the festi 
val of that name after the arrival of the troops. 
The services of Father Baron were not limited to 
the garrison. Free intercourse was allowed with 
the natives, the soldiers, excepting such as were on 
duty, passing the greater portion of their time in 
and about the bark cabins which they had built for 
themselves outside the fortification. By this means 
the good priest was enabled to mingle with the 
savages of the neighborhood ; as the result of 
which quite a number of conversions, not only 
among the Indians, but of the whites, seized in their 
wars and held as captives, are reported in his Re 
gister, forwarded to the Superior at Quebec. But 
the operations of the chaplain, and the projects 
which may have been entertained with regard to a 
special spiritual occupation of the ground, were 
cut short through the abandonment, by the French, 
of the fort in 1758, .their surrender of the Ohio 



THE JESUIT. 75 

valley possessions in dispute, and retirement back 
into their own proper provinces beyond the St. 
Lawrence. For nearly thirty years subsequently 
the Faith was left without an advocate on the 
frontier. 

The Abbe Benedict Joseph Flaget was the 
earliest apostle, afterwards, to unfurl the standard 
of the Cross *in Western Pennsylvania. He spent 
several months, in 1792, at Pittsburg, administer 
ing to the spiritual necessities of the settlers, and 
of the soldiers, collected there under General 
Wayne, just then on the eve of his memorable 
march against the Indians. But he who was des 
tined to be the Pioneer of the Faith in this newly- 
developing quarter of American civilization, had 
not yet quite appeared. 

Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin, begotten in a 
line of noble descent, was borne at the Hague, on 
the 22d of December, 1770. His father was the 
ambassador representing Russia in Holland: his 
mother, Amelia, Countess of Schmettan, a Ger 
man family of high distinction. The young prince 
received his training under the tutelage of Voltaire, 
an intimate personal friend of his father's ; a train 
ing conformable, of course, to the skeptical creed 
of that eminent philosopher. But maturer reflec 
tion brought with it purer convictions : the heresies 
of deism were discarded, and the youthful pupil in 
unbelief became the convert of Christianity. When 
seventeen years of age, he connected himself with 



7 6 BLACK-ROBES. 

the Catholic Church. In 1792, accompanied by 
his tutor, the Rev. Mr. Brosius, he came to Ame 
rica, entered the Sulpitian Seminary at Baltimore, 
completed his studies at that institution, and three 
years afterwards was admitted into the priesthood, 
the second theological student of his faith to 
undergo ordination in the United States. For a few 
years subsequently, after he had taken orders, his 
labors were confined to Cumberland, Hagerstown, 
Chambersburg, Path Valley, and other points in 
Pennsylvania. At length he conceived the project 
of penetrating farther towards the border, and 
choosing out a suitable locality, with a view to 
establishing- a colony, and through this means, of 
giving rise to a hallowed influence whose benefi 
cial force might be felt in the modeling of society 
out of the heterogeneous population newly planted 
in the young settlements of the West. Accord 
ingly he selected a site, in an uninhabited waste 
on the Alleghany Mountains, erected a rude cabin 
for his own shelter, and a log chapel for the accom 
modation of such straggling worshipers as Provi 
dence might throw in his way. He then purchased 
large tracts of land, which he divided into farms, 
and sold at nominal rates, or gave gratuitously to 
settlers willing to share the chances of the future 
with him, and so began his work. 

By his adoption of the Catholic faith the young 
priest had forfeited all title to his father's property. 
His sister, the Princess Anne Gallitzin, who, after 



THE JESUIT. 77 

his disfranchisement, became sole inheritress of the 
estate, lent a partial aid to her brother, by which 
he was enabled to meet, to some extent, the ex 
penses of his enterprise; but her contributions 
ceased, presently, upon her marriage, and Deme 
trius was, thenceforward, left to his own resources. 
But his misfortunes were not permitted to cripple 
his industry. Forests were felled, lands were 
cleared, acres were tilled, cottages were built, and 
soon the mountain wilderness, stripped of its savage 
features, began to display the cheerier view of field 
upon field greenly grown, or goldenly ripened, 
beautiful in promise and rich in reward, to crown 
the labor of the husbandmen. Meanwhile the 
indefatigable missionary neglected not the more 
important obligations of his office. From home 
to home did he journey, from neighborhood to 
neighborhood, exercising his deeds of chanty, 
imparting his lessons of religious instruction, until 
the name of Father Smith the humble title which, 
in lieu of the more illustrious designation, he saw 
fit to assume was known, respected, and revered 
in every household on the border. 

Gallitzin began his mission in 1799, with, per 
haps, a dozen men of his faith scattered about 
through the mountain, and no other sanctuary, 
save the little oratory of Father Flaget, in all the 
West, than the one of logs thirty feet long, which 
he himself had reared. He lived to see the village 
of Loretto, which he had founded, grow into a 
7* 



78 BLACK-ROBES. 

populous and flourishing town; to find the Faith, 
whose standard he had been the first to restore 
since its going down amid the ruins of Fort Du- 
quesne, established upon a footing from which no 
revolution of time or circumstance was ever after 
wards to displace it; to witness new chapels spring 
up, one by one, till every hamlet almost, dotting 
the lowlands down upon which he looked, had its 
spire; to behold his mission prevail, until the 
apostolic number of his original followers had 
increased and multiplied a thousandfold ; till 
hospitals and houses of industry, by the liberal 
charities of his people, were erected; and till 
boarding-schools, free-schools, orphan asylums, 
and theological colleges were institutions common 
throughout the land, as were the necessities which 
called them into existence. He died at Loretto in 
1840. 

Such were the early missionaries, by whose in 
strumentality the light of Revelation was made to 
shed its first glories in the wilderness and on the 
border. Should it be charged, as illiberal antago 
nists have charged, that the labors which were 
spent were productive of but temporary and 
doubtful results, and that relapses into their origi 
nal superstitions were apt to overtake the converts 
as soon as relieved of the protecting presence of 
their teachers, it ought to be borne in mind that 
the material to be operated upon was crude as 



THE JESUIT. 79 

savage imperfection could make it, incapable of 
the impressions possible to a condition of higher 
sensibility and refinement, and that the misfortune 
was not a fault inherent in the creed, or chargeable 
against the ministers, and their modes of its inter 
pretation. But the imputation is not admitted by 
the religionists against whom it is leveled. They 
not only deny the apostacy alleged, but claim for 
their proselytes a distinguishing superiority over 
all the native populations, pagan or heretical, 
besides. If challenged to the proof, they refer to 
the evidence of Protestant witnesses, men and 
women of popular note, and competent from per 
sonal observation to testify, of the facts. They 
point to Bishop Fenwick, who, of later date, found 
a whole tribe of Passamaquoddies true to their 
Christian allegiance, and whom he commendingly 
notes as "a living monument of the apostolic 
labors of the Jesuits." They allude to Sir George 
Simpson, who relates how the Chippewas preserved 
their faith, unsustained by the aid of a priest, 
through the years of half a century. They quote 
from Mr. Buckingham, who, speaking of the Hu- 
rons, says: "They are faithful Catholics, and are 
said to fulfill their religious duties in the most ex 
emplary manner, being much more improved by 
their commerce with the whites than the Indian 
tribes who have first come into contact with Prot 
estants usually are." They repeat the Rev. Dr. 
Morse, who writes of the Indians in Western 



80 BLACK-ROBES. 

Michigan, at lArbre Croche, "the seat for sixty 
years or more of a Jesuit mission," that they "are 
much in advance, in point of improvement, in ap 
pearance, and in manners, of all the Indians whom 
I visited." They cite the observation of Mrs. 
Jameson, who, in the way of a contrast not flatter 
ing to creedists of different denomination, speaks 
of the people of a tribe whom she visited, as 
having "heard them sing Mass with every demon 
stration of decency and piety;" and the corrobora- 
tion of Harriet Martineau, expressed generally 
with regard to the nations of the Northwest, that 
"one thing is most visible, certain, and undeniable, 
that the Roman Catholic converts are in appear 
ance, dress, intelligence, industry, and general 
civilization, superior to all others." But there is a 
more striking, because more recent, instance of the 
indisputable blessings accruing from the labors of 
the Black-Robes among the savages, to which 
they refer with special satisfaction, because so 
well attested by clouds of living witnesses. The 
Chopunnish, or Nez-Perces, noted, long ago, as 
a selfish, avaricious, miserly, root-eating tribe, in 
habiting the distant regions of Oregon and Idaho, 
were visited many years since by the Catholic 
missionary, who has maintained a permanent oc 
cupation of the ground ever since, uninterfcred 
with, of course, in a quarter, until within a twelve 
month or so ago,* so remote and isolated from 

* This article was written in 1868. 



THE JESUIT. 8 1 

civilized life, by ministers of any other persuasion. 
This nation has been brought under the control 
of Christian influence, has made rapid progress 
towards refinement, is active in the peaceful pur 
suits of industry, and, in marked contrast with 
surrounding tribes, stands noted for the orderly 
behavior, sobriety, purity, and intelligence of its 
people. 

To whom it is due let honor be accredited, not 
grudgingly and reluctantly, but with a hearty will, 
and abundantly. If the Jesuit, defiant of perils, 
seen and unseen, perils that threatened death, 
and visited it, in every imaginable form of terror, 
and through every conceivable shape of torture, 
dared to prosecute the errand appointed for him, 
over immeasurable leagues of dreary, desolate dis 
tance, and by pathless ways, through solitudes, 
vast, waste, and x wild, as solitudes might only be 
that had been left untenanted and untraversed, 
save by roving beasts and crawling reptiles, since 
God spoke them into being; if he followed his 
pilgrimage patiently and hardily, in despite of 
summer's heat, of winter's cold, of storm, of night, 
through sickness as it fell, and want, and famine; 
and all, Heaven's pity on him ! all alone ; is he 
to be denied of his glory on the uncharitable plea 
that he was driven to the task under sentence of 
his Superior, and as constrained by the obligation 
of the oath of his office; or that he was tempted 
to the sacrifice by a mad zeal for the extension 



82 BLACK-ROBES. 

of the temporal authority of the church, and for 
the aggrandizement, especially, of his own eccle 
siastical order? If the formulary of his profession 
not his creed, because the creed of all Christ's 
followers is one sanctions a scheme of views and 
practices not in accordance with the notions and 
customs of the sects which repudiate him, must 
the disciple of Loyola, therefore, be esteemed as a 
vessel of dishonor, and disowned as a false prophet 
among God's people? 

Old Menard hazards his life for the love of Jesus, 
traveling and tarrying, as duty bids, on the water 
and on the land; yet, in his frail canoe, amid the 
tempests of the one, or under his arbor of fir- 
branches, exposed to the bitterest of midwinter 
severities, on the other, he is to be found, at the 
dawn and decline of each day, bent in devotion, 
repeating " Our Father which art in heaven," and 
closing the invocation with the supplicatory chant 
to the Virgin, "Mater amata intemerata, Om y ora 
pro nobis!" Is the hymn a sacrilege? 

Marquette lies, throbbing his life away, on the 
shore of Lake Michigan. He addresses his inter 
cessory prayer to the Mother of his Master, and 
then, as the last act of his life, raises the Cross to 
his lips and kisses it, in sweet regard for Him 
whose sacrifice it typifies. Was that an idolatry 
for the soul to shudder at ? 

A poor Huron captive is burning to death at the 
stake, when Father Jogues, himself a prisoner, 



THE JESUIT. 83 

under the pretended purpose of proffering the 
victim a taste of water to cool his parched tongue, 
rushes into the flames, and administers to him, 
covertly, the sacrament of baptism. Did the Re 
cording Angel write down the false pretense as a 
sin of special enormity, one that, measured by 
the standard of a strict morality, should appear in 
startling judgment against the offender in the last 
day? 

He who has laid to heart, dutifully, the admoni 
tions of inspiration, seeks not to examine too 
inquiringly into the faults of a brother. He re 
members the lesson of the Mote and the Beam ; 
and, above all, forgets not that the graces which 
constitute the glory of Christian character are 
Faith, Hope, and Charity, and that "the greatest 
of these is Charity." 



THE MORAVIAN. 



(85) 



THE MORAVIAN. 



I. 

THE MORAVIANS IN EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA. 

DRIVEN from his dominions by the Elector 
of Saxony, a community of Moravians or, 
as they distinguish themselves, Unitas Fmtrum, or 
United Brethren, residing in Berthelsdorf, a village 
of Upper Lusatia, under the patronage of Count 
Zinzendorf, and to carry out a project which they 
had already contemplated, emigrated, in 1734, to 
America. They reached their destination, after a 
prosperous voyage, in the spring of the year fol 
lowing, settling themselves in Savannah, in the 
State of Georgia. The object of their undertaking 
was to introduce the gospel to the Indians of the 
New World. About five miles from Savannah, in 
the river of that name, is an island, which, at the 
time, was occupied by quite a-community of Creek 
Indians. Among these they established them 
selves, opening schools for the children, and pro 
claiming the " Great Word," day after day, to the 
people. They were not allowed, however, to pro 
secute their labors long enough to reap any sub- 

(87) 



88 BLACK-ROBES. 

stantial reward. In consequence of a disagreement 
with the provincial government, growing out of a 
refusal to take up arms against the Spaniards in 
their attempts to expel the English from Georgia, 
the Brethren left the region, looking towards the 
north for the seat of a new settlement. 

Induced by favorable representations, they 
moved into Pennsylvania, where, attracted by the 
inviting meadows which border its rivers, they 
planted the little colonies grown into pleasant 
and prosperous towns since of Bethlehem and 
Nazareth. These towns were made the central 
seat of the Brotherhood, where, dwelling together 
in amiable companionship, its members could 
carry out among themselves the usages, economi 
cal and social, as well as religious, peculiar to 
their creed, and whence they could, at the same 
time, send forth their evangelists to " testify the 
gospel of the grace of God" to the unenlight 
ened natives. The resident members of the So 
ciety, towards this grand aim, were covenanted 
through their charities, their contributions, and by 
every means which arising exigencies might invite, 
and which it was possible to command, to lend 
themselves to the support of the missionaries. 
The missionaries, on their part, were to conform to 
certain rules which had been suggested by Count 
Zinzendorf and approved by common concurrence 
of the Brotherhood, rules, by the way, very nearly 
of a type with those to which the Jesuits had been 



THE MORAVIAN. 89 

pledged, and conformably with which they had 
served in their earlier operations among the tribes. 
They were to submit themselves to the wise direc 
tion and guidance of God in all circumstances ; to 
seek to preserve liberty of conscience ; to avoid all 
religious disputes ; to preach the gospel of Jesus 
Christ, and to endeavor as much as possible to 
earn their own bread. In a strange land, with the 
Puritan to beard them on the Border, and the Pa 
gan to persecute them in the Wilderness, and with 
uncultivated wastes to serve in, where sustenance 
was meagre and hard to come by, the task de 
manded and the terms imposed were of no con 
temptible consideration. But they were men willing 
always, and bold, to meet their responsibilities. 

Under the enterprise of Brother Christian Henry 
Rauch, a mission was opened and a community 
established in Shekomeko, a Mohican village, 
twenty-five miles east o the Hudson River and 
near the Connecticut border. Through his instru 
mentality, three of the natives, Shabash, Seim,and 
Kiop,were converted and baptized, under the names 
respectively of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, into 
the church, the three "firstlings" of the Faith 
in America. Rauch was joined afterwards by Mar 
tin Mack, Gottlob Buettner, Frederick Post and 
others, whose common field of operations, with 
Shekomeko as the centre, extended from Pachgat- 
goch in Connecticut, to Albany, New York, on the 
north, and Shomokin and Wajomick on the Sus- 
8* 



9 o 



BLACK-ROBES. 



quehanna, in the west, embracing various villages 
of the Mohican, Shawanese, and Delaware Indians. 
The missionaries encountered serious opposition in 
their work. Post, in company with David Zeis- 
berger, made a tour through Northern New York 
among the Iroquois. As the Six Nations were 
suspected of cherishing a sympathy for the French, 
the object of Post and his associate's visit was set 
down as a political one, and on the charge that 
they were secretly co-operating with the confed 
eracy to bring about an alliance with the enemy, 
they were arrested at Albany, brought to New 
York and cast into prison. Although discharged, 
after a confinement of six weeks, by an act of As 
sembly, they were prohibited from preaching, and 
ordered to leave the State. In Connecticut they 
were accused of papistical proclivities, and had to 
encounter such a pressure of Puritanic resistance 
on the ridiculous change, that they were con 
strained to desist from their labors. After an 
existence of some four years, the mission of She- 
komeko was abandoned, the few Christian Mohi 
cans composing its congregation retiring with their 
teachers to the friendly shelters of the Moravians 
at Bethlehem. Here, a short distance from the 
town, for their temporary accommodation, the 
modest hamlet of Friedenshutten, or the Tents of 
Peace, was built on the Susquehanna River. 

Thus far the operations of the Brethren had been 
moderately, but promisingly, successful. Bands of 



THE MORAVIAN. 9 1 

converts were to be found, here and there, through 
out the entire range over which the journeyings 
of the missionaries had extended. To bring these 
scattered groups together, the more effectually 
thereby to extend a salutary supervision over their 
spiritual as well as worldly interests, lands were 
bought on the Mahanoy, to which they were in 
vited, and whither they repaired. The fertile acres 
of the purchase were fenced off into fields for cul 
tivation, all except a small portion, which was set 
apart as a seat for the dwellings of the settlers. A 
church was built in the heart of this reserve. 
Clusters of cottages were planted along the rising 
grounds on one side adjoining, and the homestead 
of the missionary, and the consecrated plot, with 
its narrower abodes for those who, once housed, 
were to know thereafter no change of habitation, 
on the other. And so arose, in the valley of the 
river, the settlement of Gnadenhiitten, the happy 
village of the Tents of Grace. 

The converts gathered at Gnadenhiitten, besides 
the Mohican families flitted from Shekomeko, were 
chiefly Delawares. With the abandonment of the 
superstitions of their fathers, they had quit their 
vagrant courses and were settled into a community 
soon noted for the thrift, the exemplary habits, 
and the well-regulated behavior of its people. 
With the dawn of each day, before assuming their 
allotted labors, and at its decline, when toils were 
ended, they might have been seen tracing their 



92 BLA CK-R OSES. 

way to the sanctuary of the village, there to pre 
sent their stated offerings of worship at its altar. 
Psalms of praise saluted the morning ; hymns of 
thanksgiving ascended in the evening; voices were 
lifted in prayer, and lessons of instruction declared, 
Christian Rauch officiating, or Martin Mack, the 
first commissioned to administer the Word and the 
Sacraments among the converts. But the peace 
of the settlement* propitiously as it opened, was 
not to remain long undisturbed. 

In the active hostilities which opened in 1755 
between the French and English, although they de 
clined taking any part, the Moravians had to bear 
their full share of the resulting distresses. Many of 
the converts, too easily seduced from the paths of 
peace when the war-trail offered its more congenial 
attractions, deserted the Tents of Grace and betook 
them to the camp9 of the unbaptized insurgents, 
who, espousing the cause of the former of the 
belligerents, had taken up arms against the latter. 
The rising of the savages created intense alarm 
throughout the settlements. After the first act of 
barbarous warfare, which consisted in the burning 
of several houses not far from Shomokin, and the 
massacre of their inmates, the threatened popula 
tion took to flight, scattering in the deeper wilder 
nesses towards the mountains on the one hand, 
and with their* faces seaward on the other, wher 
ever a way of escape seemed to offer from the 
perils by which they were surrounded. The 



THE MORAVIAN. 93 

Brethren in Bethlehem and Gnadenhiitten alone, 
of all whose safety was menaced, refused to forsake 
their homes. " The peace of God comforted them, 
and preserved their hearts from fear and despair." 
The pagan Shawanese much the larger portion 
of the tribe employed every inducement to win 
over the residue of their clansmen, who still main 
tained a fidelity to the Moravians, but without 
success. Death was threatened if refusal were 
persisted in, but the loyal adherents were not to be 
moved. The mission-house on the Mahanoy was 
attacked and set on fire, eleven of the Brethren and 
Sisters perishing in the flames. The visitation was 
borne by the sufferers with a spirit of martyrly for 
titude. Steadfastly they maintained their place, 
comforting and sustaining each other as they 
might, and looking to God as their refuge in the 
dark times of their affliction. " O Lord, we be 
seech Thee," was the burden of their daily prayer, 
"save Thou us, that all may know that Thou art 
the Lord, even Thou only." 

Through four years, down to the time of the aban 
donment of FortDuquesne and the retirement of the 
French, to their own provinces, were these faithful 
saints forced to endure the persecutions of their re 
lentless enemies. Meanwhile the task to which they 
were dedicated was not forgotten, nor the zeal di 
minished with which it was pursued. The Indian 
villages along the waters of the Delaware, the Le- 
high, and the Susquehanna were visited. The mis- 



94 BLA CK-R OBES. 

sions of Friedenshiitten and Tschechschequannink 
on the last-mentioned river were established, while 
ministers, such as Grube, and Mack, and Roesler, 
and Kiefer, were sent abroad among the settle 
ments to declare the Word, wherever Christians 
were to be comforted, or heathen to hear and be 
reclaimed ; and the work of the Lord went on and 
prospered in their hands. The emigration of the 
main body of the Delawares and Shawanese to the 
West, shortly before, and during the war, and the 
reports of the region which found their way back to 
Bethlehem, led the Brethren to look with special 
interest in that direction. 

Christian Frederick Post has been mentioned in 
connection with the operations of the Moravians in 
Eastern Pennsylvania. He was a joiner by trade, 
but a man of more than ordinary intelligence, and, 
being animated with a lively religious zeal, soon 
abandoned his humble calling, and, qualifying 
himself for the office, became a minister of the 
Faith, one of the most enterprising and efficient 
among his co-laborers of the Brotherhood. By 
reason of his marriage to a native, although an ex 
cellent Christian woman, he was deprived of his 
right to be regarded as a missionary of the Society. 
Yet the disfranchisement was rather technical than 
real, for, while not officially acknowledged, his 
priestly services were neither forbidden nor dis 
owned by his associates. In 1758, by appointment 
of the Governor of Pennsylvania, he visited, on two 



THE MORAVIAN. 95 

occasions, the tribes settled in the Ohio Valley ; the 
object of the undertaking being to counteract the 
mischievous influence of the French, and to insure, 
if possible, the establishment of amicable relations 
between that doubtful people and the English. 
Success attended his embassy. The savages re 
fused to rally to their support, and the consequence 
was that, as General Forbes approached soon after 
with his army, the garrison of Fort Duquesne de 
serted their stronghold without the offer of a blow 
in its defense. Again, in 1761, Post repeated his 
visit ; not, on this occasion, in the capacity of a 
political envoy, but as an ambassador of the gospel. 
He prosecuted his journey into the interior until he 
reached the wigwams of the Shawanese and Hu- 
rons on the Muskingum River. 

These adventures of the distinguished Moravian 
were not achieved without their attending risks and 
trials. His route led through an unexplored wil 
derness. Bands of savages infested the woods, and 
the red stakes, used to fasten prisoners to for secu 
rity during the halts of a march, found here and 
there driven into the ground, and the fresh scalps 
stretched on hoops and hung on bushes by the 
wayside to dry, plainly indicated that they were 
abroad with no innocent intention. His food con 
sisted of such provision as the chances of each day, 
out of the spare resources of the forest, afforded ; 
while as to shelter, for thirty-one nights, as the jour 
nal of one of his expeditions intimates, he lay in 



g6 BLACK-ROBES. 

the woods with the heavens for his covering, and 
the dew settling so penetratingly on him that it 
' pinched close to the skin." But " the Lord pre 
served him through all the dangers and difficulties " 
of the way, and brought him, " under a thick, 
heavy, and- dark cloud," safely to its termination. 
Foremost of "evangelical" apostles in those dis 
tant wilds, he nevertheless discovered that he had 
been anticipated, and that the tidings of the Cross 
were not unknown on the Muskingum, although 
the Jesuit fathers, Jogues, perhaps, or Gravier, 
or Mermet, to whom the enlightened were in 
debted for the story, were dust and ashes genera 
tions ago. 

Post requested, and obtained, permission of the 
Indians to establish a mission among them ; built 
a house, the first one erected in the State of 
Ohio, went back to Bethlehem for an assistant, 
and early in the year following returned with John 
Heckewelder, and commenced his religious labors 
at the new station. Before his plans were fairly 
entered upon, dissatisfactions sprang up, which 
were to culminate in the war of 1763 ; the Indians 
began to show violence, and the post was aban 
doned. 

But the experiment of the Christian pioneer, if a 
failure in itself, was not without its beneficial re 
sults. His explorations satisfied the Brethren that 
an inviting field offered beyond the Alleghanies for 
the display of missionary enterprise. Mingos and 



THE MORAVIAN. 97 

Shawanese, Tuscaroras and Hurons, had their vil 
lages or scattered lodges dotting the plains and 
water -courses from Alleghene for so the country 
up towards its source, and bordering on the stream 
of that name, then known as the Ohio, was desig 
nated to the levels of Sandusky, and from the 
Onenge River, or Venango, to the Muskingum. 
There, too, were to be found the towns of the emi 
grated Delawares, the tribe nearest their hearts 
as the one among whose people they had dwelt, 
and out of which the principal fruits of their labor 
had been gathered. The remnant of that nation, 
still lingering in the original neighborhood, was 
rapidly diminishing. English settlers were intrud 
ing with fast strides on their patrimonies. The 
Iroquois, proud and unfeeling masters, had found 
it serviceable to their own aims to aid in these 
aggressions, which they did with a no doubtful or 
hesitating interference. " We conquered you/' 
they had arrogantly said through their messenger, 
Paxnous, an old chief of the Shawanese, " and 
made women of you. Therefore we charge you to 
fall back immediately. Don't deliberate, but re 
move away, or the Great Council will come and 
clean your ears with a red-hot iron." The unhappy 
Lenni-Lenapes had not dared to dispute the order^ 
and soon the places that knew them were to know 
them no more. The Moravians \vould not desert 
them. The Tents of Grace must be pitched anew 
so they determined in the far wilderness whither 

9 



98 BLACK-ROBES. 

the exiles had wandered, and the messages of 
Peace must be borne to the shores of the rivers 
where their cabins were planted. 



II. i*g 
THE "PLACE OF HOGS" ON THE UPPER ALLEGHANY. 

THE morning service had been held in the 
chapel at Friedenshiitten. The prayers of 
the congregation had been offered with unusual so 
lemnity ; the voices of the worshipers had mingled 
in hymns of adoration with more than common 
fervor, and with the sentence of the benediction 
still lingering in their ears, the Brethren were 
gathered in the open space that lay under the 
shadow of their sanctuary, to bid God-speed to 
one of their number about to leave them on a 
distant, arduous, and perilous journey. David 
Zeisberger had been a conspicuous actor in all the 
leading enterprises of the Society since the date 
of its organization at Bethlehem. He had pene 
trated the territories of the tribes of the East, even 
to the cabins of the Iroquois at Onondaga. He 
had prayed in their wigwams; he had preached in 
their villages. He had organized new circles of 
believers, gathered in to strengthen the bands of 



THE MORAVIAN. 



99 



the old, or associated apart and made the centres 
of new settlements. Enterprising, intrepid, inde 
fatigable, zealous, the Paul among the Apostles 
of the Unity, if the Good Cause cal-led for extraor 
dinary undertaking in any newly-chosen line of 
action, he was looked to by the congregation as 
the champion for the duty. When the project of 
a mission in the West was resolved upon, there 
fore, his appointment to see it carried into effect 
followed as a matter of course ; and on the 3Oth 
of September, 1767, amid the solemn ceremo 
nials of worship, the blessings and the sad fare 
wells of his people, accompanied by two native 
converts, Anthony, and John Papunhank, he took 
his departure from Friedenshtitten. 

The familiar scenes of the Susquehanna were 
soon lost to the view of the Moravian, as he pene 
trated the forests through which his tortuous and 
difficult way conducted. There was no defined 
route to guide his progress. The paths which led 
through the wilds, traced there by the herds that 
roamed their recesses and the tawny hunters that 
made prey of them, were devious and uncertain. 
Obstacles, seemingly insurmountable, interposed 
to impede his advance. Rivers intercepted his 
course ; marshes lay before him, whose miry soil 
at every step sank under his feet ; dense thickets 
had to be pierced, and great plains to be traversed, 
thick with rank grasses that lifted their closely- 
clustering spears high above his head. Day after 



100 BLACK-ROBES. 

day he toiled laboriously on, to be rewarded at 
night with such rest as, stretched on the bare 
ground and wrapped in his blanket, he might best 
secure, under the pouring rain that fell almost in 
cessantly during the weeks of his travel. But the 
indomitable missionary persevered. On the i6th 
of October he reached the Alleghany. The vil 
lages of Goschgoschuenk were before him ; the 
Beautiful Valley was under his feet, and his jour 
ney was ended. 

Zeisberger found the Indians at the Place of 
Hogs, as the true interpretation of the name 
makes it, not inappropriately, ignorant, depraved, 
and heathenish ; utterly given over to shameful and 
diabolical superstitions. " Satan," he says, in his 
report, "has here his great power; he even seems 
to have established his throne in this place." The 
novelty of the Moravian worship, however, proved 
attractive, and the religious exercises held at his 
lodge were largely attended. The first, and, in 
deed, the only one of his hearers, during this pre 
paratory visit, to become " powerfully awakened," 
was a blind old chief, Allemewi, of the Delawares, 
who from the day of his arrival had manifested a 
friendly interest in the missionary and in his work. 
Zeisberger, after a short stay, went back to Bethle 
hem, but, in May of the next year, returned again, 
bringing with him an assistant brother, Gottlob 
Senseman, together with three families of native 
converts from Friedenshiitten, and, building a log 



THE MORAVIAN. IOI 

cabin at the outskirts of the central village of the 
three which constituted the town of Goschgosch- 
uenk, established himself in the place. Fairly 
domiciled in his new home, the missionary entered, 
without delay, on his work. Chapel services were 
instituted, and observed daily. "Preaching" was 
held at noon; morning and evening meetings were 
assembled, where prayers were offered, and hymns, 
the composition of the Brother himself, sung in 
their own language to his Delaware hearers. The 
savages, in their best of holiday finery, with their 
faces freshly painted in black and vermilion, and 
their heads garnished with fox-tails and tufts of 
feathers, attended in crowds and participated in the 
exercises with gravity and decorum. For some 
time these services were allowed to go on with 
out interruption or hinderance. Interest began 
to awaken in the hearts of the people, and the 
Brethren were comforted with the prospect of 
profitable results soon to be realized from their 
efforts. But bitter disappointments were in re 
serve for them. 

The captains of the tribe, a cabalistic order, in 
one sense, professing the knowledge of certain 
secret, supernatural arts, arts by which the popu 
lace were persuaded that waters were poisoned and 
sickness engendered in the camps of their enemies, 
and to which the initiated were indebted for their 
eminent influence, apprehensive that the conver 
sion of any one of their class to the new doctrine 
9* 



102 BLACK-ROBES. 

would lead to a confession of the deceit by which 
their practices were accomplished, began, upon the 
first symptoms of success, to open their batteries 
of attack against the missionaries. Converts, it 
was charged, were enticed into the communion to 
be made slaves of, and the deceived would learn, 
to their grief, that baptism was the seal of perpetual 
bondage. The King of England, it was declared, 
had written letters, warning against the Brethren 
as emissaries of the devil, who would lead their 
dupes straight to hell. The inspired teachers, the 
sorcerers, and the medicine- men were called to the 
rescue. 

" Come to Jesus, who bled and died for you," 
Zeisberger would affectionately exhort. " Call on 
Him for mercy, that He may deliver you from the 
power of Satan." 

" I have been intimately acquainted with Jesus 
for some time," Wangomen, a defender of his faith, 
would rejoin ; " I have enjoyed a familiar inter 
course, indeed, with Him these many years, and He 
never told me that He had become a man, or that 
He had shed any of his blood." 

Faith and repentance, as specifics for spiritual 
purification, were ridiculed as chimerical and pre 
posterous If the formule of the Psalmist "Purge 
me with hyssop" had been recommended, cavil 
might have been hushed, because the practice of 
their own doctors of divinity could not consistently 
have repudiated that herb, when themselves were 



THE MORAVIAN. 103 

accustomed to prescribe jalap and ipecacuanha for 
the same purpose. 

The old women of the villages were incited to 
join in the general outcry. Because of the strange 
doctrines, they said, the worms were destroying 
the corn in the fields ; the deer were retreating 
affrighted from the woods ; the trees were refusing 
their fruits, and henceforth they might look for 
chestnuts and bilberries in vain. Orators from 
other towns came in, offering their eloquence on 
behalf of the opposition. " Cousins," said one of 
them, a Seneca chief of Zoneschio, " I perceive 
that a Black-Robe has come among you. This 
man will seduce you, and make you forsake your 
old customs and manner of living, if you attend to 
him. I advise you not to hear him, but to send 
him away. If you do not, you may find him, some 
day, lying dead by the wayside." The converts 
were called, contemptuously, Sunday Indians, and 
insulted with the degrading epithet of Shwonnaks, 
or White-folks. As of their own race, and apos 
tates besides from the faith of their fathers, these 
unhappy ones were made the special objects of the 
malice of their enemies. The abuse with which 
they were visited was soon followed by violence, 
till at length, driven forcibly from their cabins, they 
were compelled to fly for protection to the lodge 
of the missionaries. 

The blind chief, Allemewi, was the only friend 
the Brethren could rely on, outside of their com- 



1 04 BLA CK-R OSES. 

munion. He shared with them in their care of the 
persecuted, and, at the same time, exerted himself 
to appease the excitement of the populace. But his 
efforts were unavailing. The lives of the ministers 
were threatened. It was proposed that they should 
be stoned, or murdered, and cast into the river. 
Two of the savages were covenanted to see to the 
execution of the design, but, perhaps restrained by 
superstitious dread, when the hour came to admin 
ister the stroke, their hearts failed them, and they 
retired abashed from the presence of their intended 
victims. Other conspiracies were formed to carry 
out the same murderous intention, so that, to guard 
against assassination, an armed watch had to be 
kept up nightly about the house of the Moravians. 
It was finally deemed expedient to abandon the 
station. Accordingly,' Zeisberger and his colleague, 
with their handful of adherents, withdrew, retiring 
to the town of Lawunakhannek, some fifteen miles 
below, and on the opposite side of the river. 

This forced desertion of Goschgoschuenk was a 
grand achievement for the captains, the sorcerers, 
and the women. Wangomen, inflated with the 
idea that he had been a conspicuous instrument in 
the affair, was particularly jubilant. As it was in 
the line of his profession, he took to the vacated 
pulpit of the chapel himself at once, but having 
unfortunately yielded to a besetting weakness, 
and giving drunken utterance to doctrine so vile 
and abominable as even to offend the ears of his 



THE MORA VIAN. 



105 



not ever-fastidious congregation, he was dragged 
from his place and summarily cast out of the sanc 
tuary. Glikkikan, captain, warrior, counselor, and 
speaker of Pakanke, the Delaware chief resident in 
Kaskaskunk, seems to have conceived that a mis 
take was made in the management of matters, and 
that the case of the missionaries might have been 
settled up by force of argument far more satisfac 
torily than by process of violence. He had finished 
the business for the Black-Robes in Canada in that 
way, and did not presume that the little man from 
Bethlehem was ribbed with tougher metal, that he 
could long resist the penetration of his logic and 
eloquence. He decided, even yet, to make the 
attempt, and invited quite a party of his townsmen 
to accompany him to Lawunakhannek and witness 
the controversy. Conscious though he was of his 
own power, he did not think it prudent to under 
value that of his antagonist, and prepared himself 
accordingly ; well considering beforehand what to 
say, in order the more pointedly and effectually 
to confound the Moravian. But the counselor had 
undertaken more than he could manage. The 
evidence of the Truth, through the lips of the 
Brethren, fell on him with irresistible persuasion. 
He acknowledged the weakness of his cause, ad 
mitted its errors, and on his return to Kaskaskunk 
not only confessed his discomfiture, but nobly in 
dorsed the new Faith, and urged the acceptance of 
the gospel on the people. 



106 BLACK-ROBES. 

Affairs began to wear a more promising aspect. 
The uncomplaining temper of the missionaries, 
their never-failing patience under whatever visita 
tion of wrong or violence, commanded, at length, 
the forbearance of the savages, and they were per 
mitted the undisturbed enjoyment of all desirable 
social and religious privileges. Comfortable houses 
were built in lieu of the rude hunting-huts which 
had first afforded them shelter. A chapel was 
erected, graced with the extraordinary and attract 
ive appendage of a bell, the gift of the friends at 
Bethlehem. Presently the cheerful evidences of 
well-applied industry began to appear. Grounds 
were cleared, gardens were planted, and fields of 
corn grew and ripened in the sun. Here, too, 
under the dews of divine influence, began to spring 
up the seed of a more precious sowing. The liv 
ing knowledge of the Faith took root, at length, 
in the hearts of the people. On the 3d of Decem 
ber, three penitents, a father, mother, and child, 
were admitted, through the solemn ritual of bap 
tism, into the church, in the presence of a large 
concourse of witnesses, all of whom were deeply 
impressed with the ceremony. The occasion was 
honored with the attendance of quite a company 
of the villagers of Goschgoschuenk, who entered 
into the spirit of the prevailing excitement very 
enthusiastically, but, perhaps, with more zeal than 
knowledge. So earnest were they in their ardor 
that they gravely proposed to lay the question 



THE MORAVIAN. IO/ 

before the town council, and have themselves and 
their fellow-citizens legislated into the communion, 
without delay; but the missionaries interposed, 
letting them know that conversion must come by 
the grace of God, and not by act of Assembly. 
But the most interesting event of this delightful 
season was the conversion of the generous-hearted, 
stanch old friend of the Moravians, blind Alle- 
mewi. " Brethren," said he, as at his own request 
he was carried to the lodge of the missionaries, 
"I can bear it no longer; I must open my mind 
to you. I am convinced that I am a lost sinner, 
and unless my heart shall soon receive comfort I 
must die." " Come to Jesus," was the responsive 
invitation ; " weary and heavy-laden as you are, 
there you will find rest for your soul." His wife 
and friends tried to dissuade him, but he had re 
solved on his course, and on Christmas-day the 
believing chief was sacramentally sealed into the 
fellowship of the Unity. So were gilded the closing 
hours of a year obscured with clouds and dark 
ness through nearly the full measure of its circle ; 
so, though the watches were long and weary, the 
night of sorrows was told at last, and joy came in 
the morning. 

While yet congratulating themselves on their 
successes, the Brethren were called on to undergo 
new tribulations. Unfriendly relations had for some 
time existed between ^the Seneca Indians and the 
Cherokees. Late events had not mitigated the 



1 08 BLA CK-R OSES. 

traces of estrangement, and it scarcely needed a 
petty act of outrage, which was perpetrated by the 
latter, to bring the quarrel to a crisis, and precipi 
tate the parties into active hostilities. Lawunak- 
hannek lying in an exposed position between these 
rival tribes, the Christians were left in a predica 
ment of great insecurity. The excitements of war, 
besides, not only precluded the possibility of ex 
tending the conquests of the Faith, but were a 
temptation too strong, oftentimes, for even the per 
severance of the saints. When blue, typical of 
peace, was the color of the day, the gospel had its 
chances, but its power was paralyzed when the 
hatchet was red, and warriors were abroad in black 
and vermilion. In view of these facts, the Brethren 
began to discuss the expediency of continuing the 
mission at that place. Repeated requests to settle 
in their region had been made by the prominent 
men of the Delawares on the Big Beaver, seconded 
warmly by Glikkikan, the captain and controver 
sialist of one of their villages. Next to the settle 
ments on the Muskingum, those on the Beaver 
were the most populous of any within the territo 
rial bounds of the Delaware Nation. The wider 
sphere of usefulness presented in this field, and the 
ostensible readiness of the people to receive the 
Truth, were additional considerations to be taken 
into account in the estimate of the question of duty. 
After due deliberation it wa decided to make the 
change. On the i/th of April, 1770,3 fleet of six- 



MORAVIAN. 



109 



teen canoes shoved off from the river-shore ; the 
little band of Moravian disciples were launched 
upon their long voyage, and the mission of Lawu- 
nakhannek was abandoned. 



III. 
THE "VILLAGE OF PEACE" ON THE BEAVER. 

T)AKANKE, the chief, had summoned his sages, 
JL and conference was held in the council-hall of 
the Delawares on the Big Beaver. Kaskaskunk was 
all astir with excitement consequent upon the arri 
val of the Black-Robe of Alleghene, and his band 
of emigrants, from Lawunakhannek. The wise 
men were assembled to greet the strangers with a 
formal reception ; a civility to which they were 
hospitably entitled as invited guests, and which 
was offered with more than usual ceremony because 
of their distinguished quality. Zeisberger was 
before the Session, attended by a few deputies, to 
represent his people on the occasion. Speeches 
were made and responded to ; pipes were passed in 
ratification of sentiments expressed, and strings of 
wampum interchanged as records, for future refer 
ence, of the proceedings. The invitation to estab- 
10 



1 10 BLACK-ROBES. 

lish a community in the neighborhood was then 
officially reiterated, and a spot of ground desig 
nated and dedicated to the missionaries for their 
exclusive occupation. 

Entered upon their new possessions, the Chris 
tians began the work of improvement without 
delay, and with their accustomed vigor. Fields 
were cleared and planted ; huts were built, hastily 
and rudely, for present occupation, and a house 
completed for purposes of worship, all for tempo 
rary use, and constructed of bark. The usual rou 
tine of duties was at once resumed; hours of toil, 
of rest, and of worship succeeding each other, and 
commanding their appropriate observances regu 
larly and duly, As time wore on and the more 
urgent demands of agriculture were satisfied, the 
settlers turned their attention to the improvement 
of their domestic accommodations. A neat and 
orderly array of dwellings soon offered more com 
fortable shelter to the families, and on the site and 
over the ruins of the abandoned bark cabins were 
planted the more permanent foundations of Lan- 
guntoutenuenk, or Friedenstadt, the Village of 
Peace. 

Pakanke, as has been seen, had spoken his 
welcome. The terms of his address were liberal 
enough, but the spirit lacked the ring of genuine cor 
diality. As of the household of the Lenni-Lenape, 
he inclined favorably to the Red-folk of the emigra 
tion ; because of the political distinction which his 



THE MORAVIAN. Ill 

patronage of the Black-Robes would reflect upon 
his clan, he could tolerate, nay, he might congrat 
ulate himself on their presence ; but the instincts 
of the savage Adam the easily ascendant pro 
pensities of ab-original sin in the man were all 
against the religion of their importation. When, 
on the 1 2th of June, the example of her husband 
wrought redeemingly, at length, on the rebellious 
conscience of the wife of Allemewi, and she was 
baptized into the communion, the chief of Kaskas- 
kunk witnessed the novel ceremony with ill-con 
cealed disapprobation. But when Glikkikan, his 
lieutenant, brought down by conviction, craved per 
mission to transfer his lodge to Friedenstadt, that 
he might dwell there as one of the Congregation, 
Pakanke did not hesitate to avow his displeasure. 
" You," he exclaimed, " a brave and honored man, 
sitting next me in council when we spread the 
blanket and considered the belts of wampum, even 
you would go over and forsake us j" " I would go 
over to them," said the determined prime minister, 
" and with them I would live and die." Then the 
chief, when he found that reproach fell without 
effect, and that expostulation was fruitless, began 
to ply severer censures. The captain was charged 
with sorcery ; he was stigmatized as a Shwonnak, 
and pointed at scornfully as a recreant to the ven 
erable traditions of his people. Nevertheless, with a 
constancy more creditable to the orator than charac 
teristic of him, he continued steadfast in his resolu- 

9 



112 BLACK-ROBES. 

tion. The Brethren came in, as well, for their share 
of the outpourings of savage wrath. Pakanke with 
drew from them the protection of his countenance, 
impudently denying that he had ever approved of 
their emigration, or that they were settled on the 
Beaver by his authority. 

At this crisis, while opposition was in a fair way 
to ripen soon into positive resistance, its develop 
ment was unexpectedly and effectually arrested. 

Col. George Croghan, delegated in 1755 by Sir 
Wm. Johnston to visit the West, in order to coun 
teract the hostile operations of the French and 
maintain amicable relations with the Indians of 
the border, had, in the sagacious discharge of his 
mission, acquired a commanding influence among 
the tribes. Their own amiable character, coupled 
with the devotion of the Moravians to the pacific 
measures which it was his policy to promote, com 
mended the Society to his favorable notice, and 
from the time of their first settlement on the Alle- 
ghany, shortly after which he had been visited at 
Fort Pitt by Zeisberger and Senseman, he had 
always contributed, as occasion offered, to their 
welfare. When information reached him of the 
disturbances which had been excited at Frieden- 
stadt, he promptly interposed in their behalf. With 
much earnestness he exhorted the offended Kaskas- 
kunkian to cease controversy with the Christians, 
assuring him that their intentions were honor 
able, and not by any means adverse to the inter- 



THE MORA VIAN. 1 1 3 

ests of his people. The advice of the English com 
missioner caused the chief to waver in his purpose. 
It so happened that just then a fatal disease raged 
with great violence in the Delaware villages. The 
prevalence of this epidemic was attributed to the 
workings of magic, and the populace, very pliable 
under a panic, were easily induced to believe that 
the fatal visitation was chargeable to their rejection 
of the religion of the Black-Robes. A special 
meeting of the counselors of the tribe at Gekele- 
mukpechuenk, or Still-Water, on the Muskingum, 
was called, and, as the result of its deliberations, an 
envoy was sent with a black belt of wampum of 
a fathom's length, to Pakanke, and an order de 
manded for a convocation of the Council. " There 
is a contagion among us;" such was the purport 
of the message. " Many Indians die. We shall 
all die unless we have help. Convene a Council 
on this belt. Whoever does not receive this belt 
shall be considered as an enemy and murderer of 
his people, and must be treated according to his 
deserts." Pakanke was wise enough to accept the 
precaution obscurely conveyed in this communica 
tion. A prudent respect for consequences decided 
the course for which the advice of Col. Croghan 
had prepared the way. Hostilities against the 
Christians ceased, and peace prevailed in Frieden- 
stadt. 

The career of the community was now, for some 
time, one of almost uninterrupted prosperity. The 
10* 



II 4 BLACK-ROBES. 

possessions of the Brethren embraced several hun 
dred acres of land, a large portion of which, lying 
along the rich bottoms of the Mahoning, the She- 
nango, and the Beaver, was brought under culti 
vation, yielding to its industrious owners broad 
and bountiful harvests. The surrounding woods 
abounded in game, while the rivers furnished in 
full supply their daintier tribute of pickerel, bass, 
and salmon to lend a savory variety to the tables 
of the households. Schools for the education of 
the children were established both at Friedenstadt 
and at Kaskaskunk. Workshops were set up, where 
the mechanical arts were taught and put into suc 
cessful practice. The raiment in which the asso 
ciates clad themselves was woven in hand-looms 
of their own contriving, from yarns of their own 
spinning. Axe, mattock, spade, plow, all the 
utensils used in the clearing, the field, and the 
garden, were wrought at their own fires and on 
their own anvils. Debarred of its luxuries, the 
substantial provisions of life were theirs in adequate 
plenty, and the former deprivation was more than 
compensated in the healthy relish with which the 
invigorating tasks of acquisition enabled them to 
enjoy the latter. 

Meanwhile the spiritual interests of the mission 
were not neglected. The only damaging accusa 
tion which remained unsatisfied against the Chris 
tians was that their converts, by the terms of 
communion, were to be relieved from the payment 



THE MORA VI AN. 1 1 5 

of their proportion of the national taxes, and from 
rendering the customary tribute of wampum to the 
chiefs. To quiet the apprehensions of the parties 
particularly concerned, a formal declaration was 
issued by the Brethren, to the effect that while they 
would not interfere with affairs of state, nor par 
ticipate in the wars that might arise, yet they were 
willing to bear their share of responsibility in all 
matters affecting the public welfare, save in any 
case where it was contemplated to disturb the 
peace of the white people or of other Indian na 
tions. This announcement met with approval. 
The Caesars of the tribe were satisfied, and the 
missionaries had an open field for the exercise of 
their labors. And now " the peace of God, brotherly 
love, and a desire to cleave to and love God, our 
Saviour, began to prevail most powerfully in the 
Congregation." Glikkikan was moved to tears by 
a discourse delivered at a daily prayer-meeting, 
greatly to the disgust of the heathen, who mar 
veled that a captain so valiant and so noted should 
allow himself by such a display of weakness to sink 
so low beneath the level of professional dignity. 
But the captain clave to his conviction, and to 
gether with another convert, the chieftain Genas- 
kund, was admitted shortly after into the commu 
nion. One after another, a son of Pakanke's among 
the rest, the unregenerate were " led to accept the 
gracious invitation given to all that labor and are 
heavy laden." Visitors were attracted from She- 



II 6 BLACK-ROBES. 

nenge and other distant villages to hear the won 
derful tidings in the chapel of Friedenstadt. A 
wicked sorcerer from abroad, as he stood listening 
to the testimony of an Indian sister, said he had a 
great mind to try a few experiments of native leger 
demain on her to her personal prejudice. " I do 
not fear his threats," said the sister; "for if my life 
were taken by such practices, I should but go home 
to my Saviour." The awakening was specially 
marked among the unbaptized, the catechumens, 
and the children; all making confession of the 
abominations of heathenism, and uniting in 
earnest entreaty to God for mercy and pardon. 
Another visitor, an anxious inquirer, sought to 
learn which was the true way to happiness. "The 
Quakers/' said he, " maintain that their doctrine is 
true ; the English Church asserts the same; and the 
Brethren say that theirs is the Word of God." The 
reply was, Come to Jesus ; learn to love Him, and 
that will show the way. Last of all, the chief of 
sinners, as well as of his tribe, Pakanke, that 
sturdy adversary of the gospel, resolved to visit 
Friedenstadt. He did so, tarrying there for several 
days. The truth took effect upon his stubborn 
conscience, and when he went back to Kaskaskunk 
it was to exhort his children to do as he had done, 
go to the missionaries, listen to their words, and 
learn to love Jesus. 

The Moravians, however, seemed to be predes 
tined victims of misfortune. They might enjoy 



fHE MORAVIAN. nj 

seasons of repose, when, exempt from molestation, 
they could pursue their work and worship accord 
ing to ordinance, but if frustrated in one scheme of 
annoyance, the devil would fall back upon some 
new device, so that these intervals of tranquillity 
were seldom of long-uninterrupted continuance. 
For pushing enterprise the whisky- trader enjoyed 
a reputation second only to the trapper and the 
hunter, upon whose heels, as they penetrated the 
wilderness, he was sure to follow, close as their 
own hounds that were trained to the attendance. 
Whence his supplies of the commodity in which 
he dealt were procured, and by what means trans 
ported from point to point, were problems often to 
puzzle the curious, but so it was that seldom a tent * 
was pitched in the forest, and never a cabin reared 
in the clearing, but that the keg and the cup or 
the rye straw were conspicuously at hand to in 
dicate his presence and to advertise his profession. 
Zeisberger, mourning over the deplorable results 
of the trade in the Susquehanna settlements, flat 
tered himself that he was beyond the range of its 
commercial traveler when he found himself at the 
head-waters of the Alleghany, where the face of a 
white man was so rare a sight that on his arrival 
a courier was dispatched to the chief of the tribe, 
thirty miles away, to notify him of the extraordi 
nary visitation. But the peddler had preceded him. 
Petroleum at four guineas a quart was a commodity 
worth coveting, and the fame of the fountains at 



Il8 BLACK-ROBES. 

Venango was not likely to fail of being blown 
abroad, and of attracting the notice of the gain- 
seeking adventurer. He had ferreted out the spot. 
The principal statesmen of that branch of the Dela 
ware dynasty were no strangers to him, nor to his 
liquor. The sachems knew a keg when they saw 
it; the captains might have stood as tasters at the 
tables of the connoisseurs; and so habituated to the 
use of the straw were the rank and file of the 
people, that prohibitory legislation was found 
necessary for the maintenance of the public peace. 
Savage ingenuity was quite as expert at evasions 
of unpalatable laws as the wit of the keenest of 
pale-faced dodgers. The chiefs, however far they 
might extend their authority in secular affairs, 
dared not interfere with the commons in their re 
ligious ceremonies and observances. Under cover 
of this right the latter took shelter, established the 
Festival of Rum, and in the celebration of it got 
religiously drunk, as often as they pleased, with 
impunity. As might be expected, this became at 
once the favorite red-letter day- of the native calen 
dar, and was in the full tide of popularity, greatly 
to his surprise, when Zeisberger first appeared at 
Goschgoschuenk. 

The Moravians were the earliest advocates of 
temperance in America. While whisky was ac 
cepted as the good creature of God, and taken 
to, lovingly, in all circles besides, it was denounced 
by the Brethren as the chief of evils, the prolific 



THE MORAVIAN. 119 

parent of vices and immoralities, and placed under 
ban of the community accordingly. As censurers 
of his calling, and, more especially, as stumbling- 
blocks in the way of his custom, the missionaries 
were peculiarly odious in the eyes of the trader. 
He traduced their religion ; he vilified their per 
sonal characters; he misrepresented their motives; 
he seconded the native sorcerers in their ridicu 
lous, but dangerous, charges ; and, to quicken at 
any time a spirit of mutiny against them, never 
hesitated at the gratuitous distribution of the craz 
ing element in which he dealt among the disaf 
fected. But for his agency, directly and indirectly 
felt, it is doubtful whether the state of affairs would 
have arisen which rendered necessary the abandon 
ment of the station on the Alleghany. The same 
line of opposition was followed up at Friedenstadt. 
Liquor was freely circulated among the populace. 
The savages were incited to acts of lawlessness. 
Death to the missionaries was threatened, and, on 
more than one occasion, attempted. The settle 
ment was invaded, now and again the intoxicated 
mob assailing the houses of the inhabitants, forcing 
their doors, breaking their windows, and com )e - 
ling the affrighted inmates to take to the woods for 
safety. The continued forbearance of the Brethren 
only tempted to new aggressions, until, in the end, 
riot enjoyed unbridled license, and the Village of 
Peace became the scene for the sport, at pleasure, 
of tumult and disorder. 



120 BLACK-ROBES. 

An additional grievance was in reserve for the 
community. Kaskaskunk was a village of marked 
importance among the Indians as a war-post, 
where centered all the principal war-paths from the 
North, and whence, by one common trail, passing 
through Friedenstadt, communication was had with 
Fort Pitt Near to the latter-mentioned town was 
the Scalp Spring, a fountain famous far and near 
as the place of rendezvous commonly appointed 
for the gathering of the clans when the red hatchet 
was abroad and strife was in the wind. In the 
spring of 1771, certain of the vindictive among the 
white settlers about Fort Pitt, whose taste for car 
nage seems to have been sharpened rather than 
sated by former indulgence, banded together, and, 
taking to the shelters along the Ohio, on the plea 
of revenge for past injuries, began an inhuman 
slaughter among the unoffending Indians inhabit 
ing the valley. To escape the cruelties of these 
rude border-men, the terrified natives deserted their 
homes on the river, and fled for protection to the 
interior. Their stories told of the barbarous con 
duct of the pale-faces created intense excitement 
among the various clansmen, who determined upon 
swift and severe retaliation. A call to arms was 
proclaimed among the tribes, and soon the painted 
warriors began to assemble at Scalp Spring. As 
of kindred color with the perpetrators of their 
wrongs, the Brethren were included in the same 
doom of meditated vengeance, and it was only by 



THE MORAVIAN. 121 

reason of strict vigilance a constant guard of com- 
.petent force being maintained about their -houses 
that they were able to protect themselves against 
attempted violence. This state of affairs continu 
ing, the missionaries became disheartened at their 
prospects. Without peace, that cardinal principle 
of their religion, of which there seemed faint pro 
mise now, they could not look for prosperity. The 
circumstances of their position led them to reflect 
gravely upon a step which, in view of other con 
siderations, they had already contemplated with 
favor. The tribe of the Delaware nation settled 
on the Muskingum had, for some time, been in 
sisting upon the establishment of a mission within 
their boundaries on that river. As afield of labor 
this region had been held in high estimation since 
its first visitation by Post. The natives professed 
a warm regard for the Brethren ; the valleys were 
fertile, and the locality, so many leagues distant 
from the frontier, was, presumably, out of reach of 
the bprder marauder and the whisky-trader. The 
project was broached, and, after a full consultation 
of its members, ultimately resolved upon by the 
Congregation. 

Meanwhile correspondence was held with the 
Brethren in Friedenshiitten and Tschechschequan- 
nink, the two settlements on the Susquehanna. 
The predicament of these associations of native 
Christians was similar to that of the converts of 
Gnadenhiitten. They had no valid title to the lands 



122 BLACK-ROBES. 

they occupied, the ownership having passed, by 
conveyance of their masters, the Iroquois, to the 
English, who in their eagerness after the bargain 
did not stop to inquire into the honesty of its 
transaction. Besides, their situation was precarious 
from the fact that, lying in the debatable territory 
dividing the contestants, they were exposed to the 
ravages of both parties in the skirmishes that were 
continually springing up between the whites and 
the savages. To tarry where they were, with a 
way of escape open, was to resist a plain indication 
of duty. When, therefore, the invitation from the 
Muskingum, which had been extended to them 
through their friends on the Beaver, was received, 
they accepted it without hesitation " as proceeding 
from a gracious direction of the providence of 
God." 

And now were to sink into final extinguishment 
the fires on the hearths of the native converts in 
the valleys, where so long they had lived, and 
toiled, and worshiped together. Their cottages 
were to be forsaken, their fields abandoned, their 
sanctuaries left desolate; and for the protection 
the forbearance, rather which the invaders of 
their soil, disciples avowedly of the same faith with 
themselves, were not willing to lend, were they to 
be indebted to the charity of unbelieving barbarians. 



THE MORAVIAN. 123 

IV. 

THE JOURNEY THROUGH THE WILDERNESS. 

THE sacrament of the Lord's Supper was cele 
brated with unusual solemnity at Friedens- 
hiitten, on the 6th of June, 1772. Nine years 
before, John Papunhank, the first native convert 
on the Susquehanna, had been baptized into the 
death of Jesus. This last Sabbath of the occupa 
tion of the village was to be made equally memo 
rable by the admission of his daughter, through 
the same rite, into the communion of the church. 
By the following Friday the preparations of the 
people were completed, and after religious services 
in the chapel, where praise and thanksgiving were 
offered to God for past favors and blessings, and 
his protecting presence implored to attend them 
on the journey, they started upon their distant 
pilgrimage. 

The emigrants, two hundred and forty-one in 
number, were divided into two companies ; one, 
led by the Rev. John Ettwein, to proceed by 
land, the other, under direction of the missionary 
John Rothe, by water. The clothing and lighter 
household furniture were carried, chiefly, on pack- 
horses ; but when these animals, with which they 
were inadequately provided, were fully loaded, 



1 24 BLA CK-R OBES. 

stores of valuables remained, too precious to be 
left. These were gathered into bundles and borne 
upon the shoulders of the men and women. Among 
the rest thus burdened was one; a mother, who 
carried her crippled son, a helpless child of eight 
or ten years of age, in a basket strapped on her 
back. Seventy head of cattle brought up the rear 
of the procession. The more cumbrous articles 
of value, such as plowshares, harrow-teeth, mat 
tocks, axes, and the like, together with pots and 
kettles of brass and iron for domestic uses, with 
others of larger capacity for sugar-making pur 
poses, were stowed in boats, to accompany the 
party that was to go by water, under charge of 
Brother Rothe. 

The navigation of the Susquehanna was difficult 
and dangerous. The restless current of the river, 
now tumbling in cascades, now tossing in wild 
floods along the rugged slopes of its channel, 
seriously interrupted their passage. To stem its 
tide required the steady aid of oar, and pole, and 
line, and to avoid the attending risks to the keels 
of the vessels, unceasing vigilance. Progress could 
be attempted only by day. At twilight the flotilla 
would seek the shore, where, with such shelter from 
the inclement weather as the chances of the scene 
of bivouac afforded, the weary crews would retire 
for rest and cover through the night. To add to 
their trials, the measles broke out among them ; 
many, especially of the children, suffering severely 



THE MORAVIAN. 



125 



from the malady. So they advanced until, on the 
29th of June, after a voyage of nearly three weeks, 
they reached Great Island, in the West Branch 
of the Susquehanna. Here they were met by the 
band under conduct of Brother Ettwein, and hence 
the united company resumed its march by land. 

The trail which they followed, scarcely distin 
guishable at times, led through forests that seemed 
interminable, through thickets that could scarcely 
be penetrated, and over streams that were crossed 
with great labor, while during the greater part of the 
journey the rains fell almost incessantly. Venom 
ous reptiles infested the way. Several of the horses 
were lost at different times from the bite of rattle 
snakes, Brother Ettwein himself narrowly escaping 
the same fate, having accidentally trodden upon 
one with fifteen rattles that lay coiled among the 
bushes. Much annoyance was experienced from 
the vicious assaults of certain small insects called 
Ponks, or Living Ashes, by the Indians. In one 
locality especially, known as Ponks-uteney, or the 
Habitation of the Sand-fly, they abounded, so that 
the air was filled by them as with a mist. They 
were particularly tormenting to the horses and 
cattle, who, when the evening fires were lighted, 
would rush toward the flames and stand amid the 
smoke for protection against their attacks. The 
native legend accounting for the origin of this insect 
states that, once upon a time, a wicked hermit, who 
was a magician, made his abiding-place amid the 
ii* 



126 BLACK-ROBES. 

rocks there, and spent his days in alarming, and 
occasionally murdering, unsuspecting travelers who 
happened to pass that way. A certain warrior 
undertook to rid the region of the mischievous re 
cluse, sought him out, and, having dispatched him, 
burnt his bones and scattered their dust in the air. 
But though the magician was disposed of, the curse 
was scarcely abated, for of all the ashes sown to the 
wind, each separate particle became a thing of life, 
winged and fanged, to hover around and visit re 
venge, through time to come, upon the race of his 
destroyer. Several of the emigrants died during 
the journey. The crippled boy who had been car 
ried on his mother's back, after having long borne 
up under the fatigue of the march, sickened at last 
and began to sink rapidly. Conscious that his end 
was at hand, the child asked to be baptized. His 
request was granted, and none 'too soon ; for within 
a few hours subsequently his spirit was caught away, 
and its wasted frame committed to the mould. 

Throughout their dreary pilgrimage the re 
ligious duties to which they were accustomed 
were never forgotten or neglected. Morning and 
evening their wonted social devotions were duly 
observed. Prayers were said, praises sung, and 
words of exhortation delivered with constant regu 
larity. Nor did they fail to invite those among 
whom they fell along their route to participate in 
their services. "They had no greater satisfaction 
than to tell their fellow-men, from the experience 



THE MORAVIAN. 127 

of their own hearts, how happy that man is who 
believes in Jesus." 

On the 2Qth of July they reached the Alleghany 
River. Canoes were here prepared, in which the 
heavier goods, together with the aged and infirm 
of their number, were placed for easier conveyance 
to their destination. Near this point they were met 
by Brother Heckewelder, with men and horses from 
the Beaver, under whose escort they proceeded 
now, until, on the 5th of August, they were saluted 
with the greetings of the Brethren at Friedenstadt. 

Arrived among their friends, the emigrants tar 
ried while a deputation, headed by Papunhank, 
started for Gekelemukpechuenk to complete ar 
rangements preparatory to the general movement 
of the body to the Muskingum. Matters having 
been satisfactorily adjusted, the march was soon 
resumed, and continued until, in due time and 
without interruption, its point of destination was 
reached. A few months later, in April of the 
succeeding year, they were followed by the Con 
gregation at Friedenstadt. Two settlements were 
made on the Muskingum, Schonbrunn, the Beau 
tiful Spring, two hundred miles from its mouth, and 
Gnadenhiitten, composed of the Mohicans among 
the emigrants, ten miles lower down the river. 

The communities, with accustomed energy, fell 
to work without delay to establish themselves 
comfortably in their new homes. Their villages 
were carefully and regularly laid out ; wide streets 



128 BLACK-ROBES. 

were opened, with fences thrown across at either 
end, so that the cattle might be excluded and per 
fect cleanliness secured in these public thorough 
fares. Chapels were erected, imposing edifices 
in the eyes of the people, with their solid walls 
of square-hewn logs, their shingled roofs, their 
belfries, and their bells! School-houses were 
built. Fields, inclosed with rail fences, were made 
ready for the plow, and gardens, surrounded with 
palings, for the spade. Fruit-trees were planted, 
and ornamental shrubbery set out about the 
houses. The results of their industry were soon 
the wonder and admiration of their ignorant and 
thriftless neighbors, as the cultivated soil shot up its 
growth of corn, and the pasture-lands filled with 
increasing herds of cattle, of horses, and of hogs. 

Rules were adopted by the Congregations for 
the maintenance among them of fitting discipline. 
They were to know no other God than He who 
created and redeemed them ; to rest from all labors 
on Sunday, and punctually attend its stated ser 
vices of worship ; to honor their parents and sup 
port them in their old age ; and to be obedient to 
their teachers, industrious, truthful, and peaceable. 
They were to renounce all juggles, lies, and de 
ceits of the devil ; not to use Trchappicli, that is 
witchcraft, in hunting ; nor to attend dances, sacri 
fices, or heathenish festivals. No thieves, murder 
ers, drunkards, adulterers, or whoremongers were 
to be allowed fellowship with them. They were 



THE MORAVIAN. 129 

each to have but one wife, who was to be obedient 
to her husband, take care of the children, and be 
cleanly in all things. The use of rum was pro 
hibited. They were not to run in debt, nor to 
purchase goods knowing them to be stolen ; and, 
finally, no man inclining to go to war which is 
the shedding of blood could remain among them. 
These rules were regularly read before the churches 
at the commencement of each year, and no one 
refusing assent to them could be received into the 
brotherhood. 

The labors of the missionaries were not restricted 
to the new Christian settlements. Zeisberger made 
a tour among the Shawanese, who, contrary to 
his expectations, bearing in mind their illiberal 
behavior on the other side of the mountains, re 
ceived him with much kindness. At Waketameki, 
fifty miles below Schonbrunn, on the river, he met 
with a son of the old chief Paxnous, the bearer of 
the threatening message of the Iroquois to the 
Brethren at Gnadenhiitten on the Mahanoy, who 
entertained him generously, and inclined a com 
plaisant ear to his spiritual counsel. His recom 
mendation secured the missionary a friendly re 
ception from the heathen teacher of the principal 
town of the tribe to which he next directed his 
steps. A room was fitted up specially for his use, 
where he daily unfolded the mystery of godliness 
to large and attentive audiences. Nor were the 
words of inspiration presented in vain. " I believe," 



'130 BLA CK-R OSES. 

testified the teacher, touched by his eloquence, 
" that all you preach is truth. A year ago I be 
came convinced that we were altogether sinful 
creatures, but we did not know what to do to gain 
eternal salvation. Now you are come, and I verily 
believe that God has sent you to make his word 
known to us." 

As their reverend visitor was about leaving, the 
chiefs and council, through the lips of the teacher, 
delivered a parting message. They rejoiced that 
he had come among them, bringing the word of 
God, which they had heard with pleasure. They 
had convened together, and after full deliberation 
had passed a resolution unanimously. True, the 
women were not present, being engaged at the 
time in gathering in the crops ; but that did not 
signify, for what the men agreed upon they would 
undoubtedly assent to. They had resolved to re 
ceive the word of God, and desired that a Black- 
Robe would come and dwell with them, and teach 
them how they might be saved. An official decla 
ration of such a spirit from the council of a tribe 
whose sympathies had all along been regarded as 
irreclaimably at variance with the spirit of the 
gospel, particularly as interpreted by the Mora 
vians, was as unexpected as it was gratifying to 
Zeisberger. His visits were repeated, and precious 
results might have ensued but for the public ex 
citements which presently arose to unsettle the 
repose of the people, and to bar the way thus aus- 



THE MORAVIAN. 131 

piciously opened for the introduction of the faith 
among this gentile nation. 

The missionary next directed his attention to 
Gekelemukpechuenk, the Delaware capital ori 
the Muskingum. His preaching there told with 
effective power on many of its inhabitants. Ech- 
palawehund, an eminent chief, was among the con 
verts. His renunciation of heathenism produced 
quite a stir in the town. The enemies of Chris 
tianity cried out vehemently against the act, and 
were for banishing the Brother, as the cause of it, 
from the country. Why, said they, should this 
pale-faced palaverer be allowed to come and un 
settle the peace of the people ? They had lived 
contentedly enough while they had clung to their 
inherited belief and followed the good old Indian 
customs, and now they were told that these cus 
toms were sinful, and that their sacrifices were an 
abomination in the sight of God. Were they to 
submit to the innovation to allow their rites to be 
openly scorned, the religion of their fathers to be 
slandered, and their captains to be bewitched 
without resistance or protest ? 

A council was called, which continued in session 
over the question for three days. The friends of 
the Moravians were found to outnumber their ad 
versaries, and it was finally resolved, that while the 
natives of Still-Water were not willing to adopt or 
approve of all the usages peculiar to the Unity, 
they would, nevertheless, change their manner of 



1 32 BLACK-ROBES. 

living ; prohibit drunkenness, abandon their other 
vices, and not allow whisky-traders, who were the 
authors of all wickedness, to enter their town. In 
proof of their sincerity in the matter involved in 
the last item of their resolution, they seized upon 
the stock of a traveling dealer who happened to be 
in the place, broke open the casks, and emptied 
their contents into the street. The work of reforma 
tion was complete while it lasted ; but such a 
wholesale waste of good liquor was a trial that 
savage virtue could not stand the test of more than 
once. The sacrifice was never repeated. Other 
traders, ignorant, or careless, of the unfortunate ex 
ample of him who had fared so haplessly, entered 
again the forbidden limits, and the beverage soon 
offered as freely and was as popular as ever. 

One of his old adversaries at this crisis turned up 
again to oppose his work and offer annoyance to 
Zeisberger, Wangomen, the prophet of Gosch- 
goschuenk. Wangomen was good on the stump, 
a fluent talker, a finished hyperbolist, of bold elo 
quence, and apt at the tricks of his profession ; but 
the orator had a penchant for liquor, and under its 
stimulus was, too often for his reputation, tempted 
in his declamation to overleap the bounds of dis 
cretion, as on this occasion. His language was 
lofty, his argument was bold. Was this an emer 
gency calling for a sound defense of the religion of 
their ancestors ? The Place of Hogs had provided 
them with the champion for the task. Common 



THE MORAVIAN. 133 

prophets there were, who had been near enough 
to heaven to hear the cocks crow, and to see the 
smoke of the chimneys of the celestial cabins, but 
he had his home in the side of the Deity, where 
he was accustomed to walk in and out at pleasure. 
What he had to say, therefore, might be regarded 
as authoritatively spoken. Zeisberger's God had 
become a man, and died. This could not be the 
true God, or he, the orator, would have been ac 
quainted with the circumstance, as he had never 
been away from paradise long enough, at any time, 
not to have noticed so extended an absence. How 
would the Black-Robe have them seek for salva 
tion ? Faith, as a means, might do for the pale 
face; ipecac was the medicine for the red man. 
The former was too mysterious in its use to be 
relied on ; they could have an active consciousness 
one that ought to satisfy of its efficacy in the 
workings of the other. 

Zeisberger replied that the God whom Wango- 
men preached, and whose servant he was, was no 
other than the devil, the father of lies; that his con 
ception of the Great Spirit was a contemptible one, 
and that his views of the disease of sin were as ridic 
ulous as the nostrum proposed for its eradication. 

A Mohican hearer arose to testify in the mis 
sionary's behalf. He had been afflicted to that de 
gree that nothing could comfort him. He had no 
rest day or night, and, driven by distraction, had 
left his wigwam and taken to the woods. His 

12 



134 



BLACK-ROBES. 



friends suggested ipecac, as Wangomen had done. 
He had given the emetic an honest trial. It had 
dispossessed him of his dinner, but not of his 
despondency. Then, giving heed to the advice 
of the Black-Robe, he had lifted up his voice to 
the newly-revealed Divinity, imploring, "O God! 
who madest all things, I know not where Thou 
art, but I have heard that Thou dwellest in heaven : 
take my sorrow and grief from me !" His prayer 
was heard ; the burden was lifted from his heart, 
and he was comforted. The controversy resulted 
in the palpable defeat of the heathen orator. 

Notwithstanding the resistance of the native 
teachers, and the more bitter opposition of the 
whisky-traders, who, venturously penetrating the 
waste places beyond the border, had not allowed 
themselves to be distanced, as has been seen, by 
the enterprise of the Brethren, the work to which 
the missionaries had consecrated themselves went 
steadily on. Villages, near and remote, among 
the Shawanese as well as the Delawares, were 
visited; many of the prominent men, especially of 
the latter tribe, were converted ; the gospel was 
preached in the Great Council of trfe capital ; 
White-Eye, the historically-famous chief captain 
of the tribe, with his staff-officers, Netawatwees 
and Gelelemend, or Killbuck, the appellation by 
which he is locally remembered, became advo 
cates of the faith ; heathen usages dropped into 
disrepute; equal rights and privileges with those 



THE MORAVIAN. 135 

enjoyed by the rest of the people were accorded 
the Christians, and the missionaries were granted 
full liberty to exercise the functions of their office, 
without molestation or interference. To crown 
the happy achievements of this reformatory move 
ment, the nation, by the act of council assembled 
at Goschachguenk, the new capital, Gekelemuk- 
pechuenk having been abandoned (1774), formally 
resolved to receive the gospel. An embassy was 
dispatched to Schonbrunn, bearing an address in 
which this determination was set forth, and pray 
ing the missionaries that they might have a new 
town built, "that those of their people who be 
lieved might have a place of refuge ;" not a town 
for the aged and grown folk only, but chiefly, rather, 
for the young people and children ; for it was their 
intention "that this establishment should last as 
long as Indians exist." A suitable spot was chosen 
on the east side of the Muskingum, three miles 
below the capital, and the new settlement of Lich- 
tenau (1775) was established. 

The mission was now in the full noon of pros 
perity. Although, from the unwholesome expo 
sures attending the opening up of their settlements 
out of the rank wilderness, many of the faithful had 
sickened and died, yet, at the occupation of Lich- 
tenau, their membership amounted to four hundred 
and fourteen souls. Schools, provided with books 
translated into the Delaware tongue, by Zeisberger, 
for the use of the children, were maintained in each 



1 36 BLA CK-R OBES. 

of their towns. The public preaching of the gospel 
was regularly observed. The warriors of the tribes 
gathered in throngs at the chapels. The sick, the 
bedridden, women in dolore laboris, and travelers 
arrested on their way by sudden illness, begged to 
be carried to the missionaries, that they might be 
comforted'in their extremity by the hopeful assur 
ances of inspiration. The future presented a pros 
pect luminous with promise, and the hearts of the 
Brethren were glad as they looked to the seem 
ingly near fulfillment of their fondest anticipations. 
But these anticipations were not to be realized. 



V. 



TROUBLE AT WORK IN THE TENTS ON THE MUS- 
KINGUM. 

IN the month of May, 1774, a hunting-party of 
Indians, with their wives and children, planted 
their temporary lodges at the mouth of Yellow 
Creek, opposite Baker's Bottom, on the Ohio. A 
backwoodsman of the name of Greathouse visited 
the encampment in an ostensibly friendly manner, 
and invited the party to join him in a drink. They 
retired, for this purpose, to the cabin of an acquaint 
ance of Greathouse's, of the name of Baker. Here 
they were plied with liquor until brought help- 



THE MORAVIAN. 137 

lessly under its influence, when they were set upon 
by their host and treacherously massacred. 

The sister and other relatives of Tah-ga-jute, a 
Mingo, more commonly known, in connection with 
a famous speech of very doubtful authenticity, as 
Logan, were among the victims of this outrage. 
Intelligence of the calamity having reached the ears 
of the Mingo, who, at the time, was on his way to 
Pittsburg to " brighten" his friendship with the offi 
cers of the garrison there, his feelings were excited 
to an intense degree. He had hitherto been the 
friend of the white man. The door of his cabin 
had been always open to receive him, and shelter, 
food, and drink freely offered for his entertainment. 
This act of viperous ingratitude was his reward ! 
Stung to the quick at a requital so cruel, he dis 
carded from his bosom the last sentiment of com 
passion, and pledged himself to revenge. 

As the story of the massacre was carried abroad 
and told in the villages of the tribes, a correspond 
ing fury inflamed the hearts of the natives. The 
Shawanese and Mingos organized into companies, 
and, making for the Virginia border, began to deal 
bloody retribution on the isolated white inhabitants 
of that newly-occupied region. The successful 
issue of one adventure whetted the appetite for 
another, and so, with fresh eagerness and increas 
ing activity, the incursions continued. 

The Delawares were strongly urged to join in 
the rising. Means, open and secret, were employed 
12* 



1 3 8 BLA CK-R OBES. 

to force them into co-operation. Entreaty, menace, 
derision, were resorted to in turn, and with a de 
cided prospect of success. The younger warriors, 
when their manhood was appealed to, when they 
were threatened to be branded as cowards and 
repudiated as Shwonnaks, became restive, and de 
manded of their elders that they should be per 
mitted to take up arms. The chiefs and captains 
resisted the pressure- as best they could, compromis 
ing the demand, which they dared not deny and 
would not grant, by postponing action upon it from 
day to day, and maintaining meanwhile a position 
of neutrality. This indecisive policy of the council 
was attributed to the influence of the missionaries, 
against whom the enraged insurgents began to 
direct their attacks. Armed bands on their way 
to and from the border would parade the streets 
of Schonbrunn and Gnadenhiitten, exciting the 
alarm of the inhabitants by demonstrations of 
violence as they went, or filling them with horror 
at the ghastly display of the bleeding proofs of 
achievement on their return. Fire and slaughter 
were threatened against the Congregations. An 
army of a thousand men, it was said, was organ 
ized among the Shawanese, who were presently to 
march down on the Muskingum towns, and if the 
Christians refused to enter their ranks the lives 
of all were to be forfeited, and the places of their 
habitation made waste and desolate. Again, it was 
reported that the Virginians, supported by a strong 



THE MORAVIAN. 139 

body of troops, sent out by the governor of that 
province, were under way, and that they had sig 
nified their intention to destroy all the villages, 
beginning with those of the converts on the " Elk- 
Eye," between the river and the lakes. 

By the advice of his colleagues, Brother Rothe, 
with his wife and two children, retiring from the 
scene of disturbance, withdrew to Pittsburg, and 
thence, shortly afterwards, -to Bethlehem. The 
rest of the missionaries tarried resolutely at their 
posts. Precarious as was their predicament in the 
passage of these events, manifold and imminent as 
were the perils to which they were exposed, the 
Congregations were mercifully preserved the while, 
without the loss of a life. The rising was sup 
pressed early in the ensuing autumn, and quiet 
once again restored, through the valor of the Vir 
ginia troops, in an action on, or near, the Kanawha. 

Disabled by defeat, the savages retired from the 
contest, but not with a mind to rest tamely under 
the surrender. Though overcome, they were not 
subdued, and the terms of submission to which 
they ass nted, it was mentally reserved, should be 
respected just as far as must be, and no further. 
Let a fair prospect of success open anew, and they 
were ready to lift the hatchet and take to the war 
path at a moment's warning. They had not long 
to wait. 

Although distantly removed from the scenes of 
its principal military operations, the yeomanry of 



140 



BLACK-ROBES. 



the border were none the less enthusiastically 
aroused, nor a whit more dilatory in their resolve 
to take up the rifle for the national defense in the 
great Revolutionary struggle, than, within the more 
immediate line of action, were the patriotic colo 
nists inhabiting the older, settlements along the 
sea-shore. Aware of the vast importance of the 
acquisition, both parties in the contest were alike 
anxious to command the good will if possible, 
the co-operation of the Indians, and for this pur 
pose had their emissaries early abroad and actively 
at work. The result was as might have been an 
ticipated. Cherishing the recollection of their 
wrongs, and eager in the hope, under the proposed 
alliance, of a more prosperous faring in a new 
attempt at retaliation, the Shawanese were won, 
with scarce a wooing, to the side of the British. 
Similar motives had their weight in bringing about 
a like decision on the part of the Iroquois and 
Hurons. 

The concurrence of the Delawares was all that 
was needed to complete a general confederacy, and 
place the tribes of the wilderness, as an undivided 
body, in hostile attitude against the colonies. All 
the arts and devices which "untutored" ingenuity 
could invent were employed to invite to entrap 
to force them into the combination. Their patriot 
ism was appealed to, their pride, their fiercer pas 
sions, and particularly, as the most feasible point 
of approach, their fears. " Keep your shoes in 



THE MORAVIAN. 141 

readiness," came a warning message from the Hu- 
rons, " to join the warriors." Following the herald 
that bore it arrived an embassy of twenty deputies, 
who, with a thrice-repeated offer of the war-belt, 
demanded their assistance, declaring that all the 
nations besides, below and beyond Lake Erie, were 
united as one man for the fight. Again, the action 
of a general council held in Detroit was published 
throughout their towns, where, without a dissent 
ing voice, it had been resolved that the hatchet 
should fall on the head of every one who refused 
to take it up. No neutrals were to be tolerated. 
To intimidate them further, reports were circulated 
that a general had arrived in Pittsburg, on his 
way to the Muskingum, who was resolved to 
destroy the whole race, without quarter to any 
red man, friend or foe, heathen or Christian. A 
trio of white renegades, notorious in border his 
tory, Simon Girty, Alexander McKee,and Matthew 
Elliott, visited the villages, and, repeating the lying 
rumors which had already been put afloat, stated 
that it was the fixed intention of the Virginians, 
after having first persuaded the Indians, by false 
but fine-sounding representations, into a sense of 
security, to take advantage of their confidence and 
commit wholesale slaughter upon them all. The 
traitors then exhorted them to rise, and turn out to 
a man against the intruders ; not to suffer them to 
cross the Ohio, but to fall upon them wherever 
they should be found, or their country would be 



1 42 BLACK-ROBES. 

lost to its legitimate owners forever. The state 
ments thus propagated had their effect. 

Captain Pipe, a Delaware hatchet-bearer of in 
fluence, had all along bitterly contended against 
the introduction of Christianity into his tribe. His 
wife, a prophetess of the Wangomen school, for 
some time shared with him in his opposition, 
openly protesting that the missionaries were de 
ceivers, and that their religion was false, as she 
ought to know, who had been in the mansions 
of the Spirits and seen the strawberries and the 
bilberries, as large as apples and in great plenty, 
that flourished in the Elysian gardens ; but being 
present, on a certain occasion, at the baptism of a 
child, "the Holy Ghost labored powerfully on her 
conscience," and she was converted. Her change 
of heart, instead of appeasing the malevolence of 
her husband, only confirmed him the more in his 
hostility. He conspired with the mischief-mongers 
of the Shawanese to breed disaffection among the 
young men of the nation. He obtained a supre 
macy over the Monseys, a discontented and trou 
blesome tribe of his own people, a party of whom, 
at his instigation, visited Schonbrunn and attempted 
to sow the seed of dissension among its inhabitants. 
He visited the converts in person, and by continued 
endeavors tried as he could to unsettle their con 
victions and bring them back to their old supersti 
tions. Unhappily, his labors were too successful. 
Newallike, a chief who had come from the Susque- 



THE MORA VI AN. 143 

hanna to join the Brotherhood, yielding to the 
tempter, relapsed into heathenism, followed in his 
apostasy by quite a band of seceders from among 
the believers. So great, indeed, was the defection, 
and so unmistakable were the demonstrations of 
violence growing out of it, that Brother Hecke- 
welder, who had charge of the Congregation, with 
the faithful few left of his flock, abandoned the 
town, after having torn down the chapel to prevent 
its desecration, and retired to Lichtenau. 

But, adroitly as the plans of Captain Pipe were 
managed, the interests of peace and good order, on 
the other hand, were not left to languish for lack 
of good championship. Netawatwees, the head 
chief of the nation, wielded steadily the high influ 
ence at his control in that direction while he lived, 
and it was while on a mission, in pursuance of the 
same policy, to Tamanend (Col. George Morgan, 
the excellent Indian agent), at Pittsburg, that he 
unfortunately died. The vacancy which he left in 
the council of his people, however, was equally well 
supplied, at least, by Coquehagechton, or White- 
Eye, the chief of the captains, than whom there was 
not a man among the rulers of the Lenni-Lenape 
of more commanding authority. Indeed, it was to 
his interference, pressed with uncompromising de 
termination, that the Christians were indebted for 
the restoration of the favor of the head chief, which 
at one time, through the machinations of their ene- 

o 

mies, he had been induced to withdraw. At the 



144 BLACK-ROBES. 

present crisis White-Eye not only declared against 
intermeddling at all, as a nation, in the quarrels 
prevailing, but insisted that the Christian Indians 
and their teachers, against whom the ill will of the 
war-party was especially directed, should be 'guar 
anteed full safety and protection. While he was 
willing to bear the opprobrium of being considered 
weak-kneed as regarded troublous complications 
outside, he at the same time let it be clearly un 
derstood that he would not be slow to draw his 
knife in defense of the just privileges of his people, 
without regard to creed, among themselves. Ri 
valry, as a consequence, grew hot and high between 
the contending parties. 

Wars are always popular in their kindling pro 
cess ; during the period of new buttons and fresh 
paint, of foils and blank cartridges, and while the 
rule of misrule is tolerated (the better to entice re 
cruits) at mustering-stations, along thoroughfares, 
and in camps. The savage, neither more nor less 
human, or inhuman, than his pale-faced brother, 
is captivated as readily by the pomp and cir 
cumstance of military preparation as the most 
exemplary Christian that ever put on cockade, 
or paraded a highway, or drained a tankard, on 
the eve of a crusade. Captain Pipe, hence, as 
the leading spirit of the belligerent interest, was 
the popular favorite; but White-Eye possessed 
the counter-advantage of an all-prevailing in 
fluence among the men of chosen character who 



THE MORAVIAN. 145 

i 

directed the counsels and shaped the policy of 
the tribes. 

The arrival of Girty was a godsend to Pipe. His 
declarations as to the hostile intentions of the Vir 
ginians were taken as confirmatory of what had 
been urged all along by the captain, but which, 
from a well-known proclivity of the witness, had 
been received with some degree of allowance, and, 
to that extent, failed in the desired effect. The 
people were exasperated, and grew clamorous for 
war. Guerrilla bands were organized; plundering 
excursions undertaken ; retreats of hunters, and 
trappers, and traders sought out, despoiled, and 
devastated ; and death by rifle-shot and blow of 
tomahawk dealt upon more than one among the 
surprised border-men. 

Affairs were on the verge of irretrievable dis 
order, when White-Eye called a general council 
of the nation. The wise men of the tribes assem 
bled, and before them the chief of the captains 
arose, and pleaded eloquently in the behalf of 
peace. His hearers would not be entirely per 
suaded. Finding that, for the present, nothing 
better could be accomplished, he earnestly advised 
against undue haste ; urging, before resolving on 
a final decision, for a delay of ten days, that so 
much time at least might be allowed for further in 
formation from Tamanend at Pittsburg, possibly ; 
at all events, irom some source more worthy of 
confidence than Girty or either of his fellows. 



146 BLACK-ROBES. 

The captain charged, in reply, that White-Eye 
was in secret league with the Virginians, and that 
it was in the interest of these his friends enabling 
them thereby the less hurriedly and more effect 
ually to complete their plans that the postpone 
ment of action was proposed. He closed his speech 
with the offer of a resolution to the effect " that 
every man should be declared an enemy to the 
nation who should throw an obstacle in the way 
that might tend to prevent the taking up arms 
immediately." 

So pointed an impeachment of his loyalty for 
it was evidently aimed at him provoked an impas 
sioned rejoinder from White-Eye. " If you mean to 
go out in earnest," said he, " you shall not go with 
out me. I have advocated peace measures to save 
the nation from destruction; but if you believe me 
wrong, and are determined to give more credit to 
vagabond fugitives, whom you know to be such, 
then your decision is mine; I shall be with you not 
like the bear-hunter," with a scornful glance at Cap 
tain Pipe, " who sets the dogs on the animal to be 
beaten about with his paws, while he keeps at a safe 
distance. No; I will myself lead you on, place 
me in the front, and be the first to fall in the fight. 
You have only to determine on whatj^sw will do," 
he concluded. " My mind is made up not to sur 
vive my nation ; for I would not spend the remainder 
of a miserable life in bewailing the total destruction 
of a brave people who deserve a better fate." 



THE MORAVIAN. 147 

The orator gained his point ; Pipe's resolution 
failed ; the ten days' delay was granted. And now 
the opposing parties, in tremulous suspense, as in 
consistent rumor from time to time gave tongue 
to dubious tidings, awaited the issue of the truce. 
Again and again the sun rose and set ; again and 
again morning brightened into noon, noon deep 
ened into dark ; night and light followed in their 
order, until the skies of the east were goldening 
in the dawn of the ninth day, and still no message 
from Tamanend, no assurances, for better or for 
worse, from their white friends at Pittsburg. The 
war-faction was jubilant. The encampments in the 
neighborhood of the towns grew hideous with the 
noise of revelry ; the rattle of drums and the storm 
of voices mingled discordantly in the chant of their 
battle-songs. The Feast of Dogs a repast sacred 
to the savage Mars, and only partaken of on the 
eve of a campaign was prepared. The heads of 
the warriors were shaved afresh, their faces be 
smeared with red and black, their scalp -locks 
anointed with tallow and tipped with the white 
plumage from the crest of the eagle, while all 
about the dusky masses thronged and pressed and 
roared, active in the busy, boisterous engagements 
of ready-making for the war-path. 

It so happened that the Brethren at Bethlehem, 
anxious about the missionaries, from whom for 
several months they had received no intelligence, 
had commissioned two of their number Hecke- 



I 4 8 BLACK-ROBES. 

welder, with them on a visit, and John Shabosh 
t:> proceed, if possible, to the Muskingum, but, at 
all events, as far as Pittsburg, ascertain their situa 
tion, and, as circumstances indicated the need, to 
provide for their relief. Arriving at Pittsburg, they 
were first informed of the critical state of affairs in 
the Indian country; how that Girty had fled there, 
and was striving by false representations to incite 
the savages to insurrection, and how Colonel Mor 
gan, and the officers with him, had tried to send 
messages of peace to the Delawares, but inef 
fectually, the runners whom they would have 
employed declining the service, through fear of 
roving gangs of insurgents that infested the wil 
derness. Heckewelder was advised against pur 
suing his journey; but in view of the consequence 
of his mission, deemed all the more important 
because of the very reasons pressed against its 
prosecution, he decided, with his colleague, upon 
the venture. 

At eleven o'clock at night on the third day after 
bidding adieu to their friends at Pittsburg, merci 
fully conducted by the hand of Providence through 
the perilous exigencies of the way, the reverend 
envoys reached Gnadenhiitten in safety. Being 
informed of the proceedings of council, and that 
to-morrow only intervened before the final day of 
the term of suspension agreed upon, after a brief rest 
they arose at three o'clock next morning, mounted 
fresh horses, swam the Muskingum, and, pushing 



THE MORAVIAN. 



149 



speedily forward, in the course of a few hours 
halted within view of Goschachguenk. 

Great was the chagrin, not to say mortification, 
of Captain Pipe at this inopportune arrival. He 
could readily calculate, without waiting for its de 
velopment, upon the result, defeat to his plans, 
demolishment to his expectations, shame and ca 
lamity to himself. The reaction would be sudden 
and not agreeable to contemplate when the war 
riors found that they had been duped by his repre 
sentations ; that their revelries were premature, 
their recourse to paint and tallow precipitate, and 
their immolation of victims a superfluous waste of 
dogs; in short, that they had made themselves 
ridiculous. 

The people soon gathered about the missiona 
ries, anxious to hear what they might have to say. 
Heckewelder, after White-Eye had notified him of 
the charges made by Pipe, invited a meeting of the 
council, and briefly laid before them the news of 
which he was the messenger. He told them of the 
achievements of the colonial troops; of the surren 
der of General Burgoyne; of the despondency of 
the British ; of the confidence of Congress in the 
success of the Revolution ; and, as more nearly 
affecting the interests of his hearers, of the most 
friendly assurances which, on behalf of the Amer 
ican people, he was delegated to deliver by Tama- 
nend. White-Eye followed the missionary in a 
speech of some length, and with the effect that 
13* 



150 BLACK-ROBES. 

might have been expected from so popular and 
eloquent an orator. Pipe attempted no reply, but 
quietly withdrew from the assembly, and presently 
from the town. His scheme had miscarried. To 
prevent an attempt at its repetition elsewhere, the 
chief captain prepared a message, which was dis 
patched, by runners, to the Shawanese villages oa 
the Scioto : " Grandchildren ! Ye Shawanese ! 
Some days ago a flock of birds, that had come on 
from the east, lit at Goschachguenk, imposing a 
song of theirs upon us, which song had wellnigh 
proved our ruin ! Should these birds, which on 
leaving us took their flight towards Scioto, en 
deavor to impose a song on you likewise, do not 
listen to them, for they lie !" 

For a season following the failure of this insur 
rectionary experiment, the peace of the settlements 
remained undisturbed. Gnadenhutten and Schon- 
brunn, abandoned during the troublous time, were 
reoccupied. The new town of Salem, five miles 
below Gnadenhutten, was built (1780). Many of 
the converts who had been carried away by the 
defection at Schonbrunn repented of their apostasy 
and were restored to the communion. The mis 
sionaries and teachers, conspicuous among whom 
was Glikkikan, the convert of Kaskaskunk, dili 
gently and profitably strove in their labors of love 
among the unbelievers. Numbers were awakened, 
"overpowered by the grace of God," and made 
subjects of baptism. White-Eye was brought 



THE MORAVIAN. 151 

under conviction, but excused himself from join 
ing the church, on the ground that the act would 
be inconsistent with his profession. When he could 
cease to be a politician he would be a Christian. 
He proposed to disembarrass himself of the hinder- 
ance 6y retiring from public service as soon as 
possible; but the praiseworthy intention failed in 
the postponement. Shortly after, on the march 
with General Mclntosh's army to erect a fort at 
Tuscarawas for 'the protection of the peaceable 
Indians, he was seized with the smallpox and 
died. His death was an irreparable loss to the 
Moravians, and a calamitous one, as events deter 
mined, to the nation whose affairs, amid its tur 
moils, he had administered with so much prudence 
and sagacity. 



VI. 



CAPTAIN PIPE PLANS NEW MISCHIEF, AND WHAT CAME 
OF HIS SCHEMES. 

WITH the ever-lively recollection to stimu 
late him of his mortifying discomfiture in 
council by White-Eye, the intelligence of the death 
of that renowned chief no sooner reached the ears 
of Captain Pipe than, relieved by the circumstance 
of the fears which, in spite of the opposite prompt 
ing's of a more intense but irresolute sense of 



1 52 BLACK-ROBES. 

wounded pride, had held him back, he set himself 
with ready alacrity to redeem his fame, recover his 
influence, and restore into pattern again the broken 
threads of the old conspiracy. "Behold !" he ex 
claimed, exultantly, as he reappeared in the circles 
from which he had been ejected ; " Coquehagech- 
ton is gone! The Great Spirit has put him out of 
the way that the nation may be saved !" 

Gelelemend, or Killbuck, who with two coh 
leagues, upon the decease of vVhite-Eye, was 
placed at the head of public affairs, to serve during 
the minority of the legitimate heir to the head- 
chiefship, although a man of irreproachable worth, 
was far from equal to the responsibilities of his new 
position. He was not to be deceived by the rhet 
oric, nor tempted by the corrupt approaches, of the 
insurrectionary leader, but he had not the courage 
to face him on the challenge and meet menace 
with defiance. Under pressure of that argument 
he yielded, deserting his people, and retiring with 
his colleagues upon the protection of the white 
friends at Pittsburg, But one obstacle remained 
as an interference to the complete accomplish 
ment of the captain's designs. If the missionaries 
could be induced to follow the example of Gelele 
mend, then the field would be left open, and little 
doubt remained but that, aided by his staff of coun 
selors, Girty, Elliott, and McKee, and supported 
by his cut-throat body-guard of Monseys, he could 
force the neutral party to terms, and have the Dela- 



THE MORA VIAN. 1 5 3 

wares, as a nation, committed to the war. The 
missionaries, however, had made up their minds to 
stay by their Congregations, and were not to be 
persuaded or intimidated. Attempts were made 
upon their lives. Senseman was attacked, but 
fortunately rescued by the timely arrival of two of 
his neighbors, while out gathering greens, one day, 
in a field near Schonbrunn. Edwards and Young 
narrowly escaped being shot while planting pota 
toes at Gnadenhiitten ; while Heckewelder was 
waylaid on different occasions, and only preserved 
by special interposition of Providence. 

Finding his efforts ineffectual to either win over 
the converts or compel the voluntary withdrawal 
of their teachers, Pipe resolved upon a new course 
of procedure. He visited the English governor, 
Arend Schuyler de Peyster, at Detroit, and in an 
interview with him represented the Christians as 
partisans in the American cause, who were acting 
as spies, and through their missionaries carrying on 
a secret correspondence with the enemy, to the 
serious detriment of the English interest. He then 
suggested that an order should be issued for their 
removal from the Muskingum to some quarter 
farther north, more nearly within scope of loyal 
oversight, and beyond convenient reach of com 
munication with the Yankees. The governor 
approved of the proposition, and sent a commis 
sioner to Niagara to lay the matter before a council 
of the Iroquois, then and there in session, and to 



154 BLACK- ROBES. 

secure their agency in its execution. The Iroquois 
were willing that the refractory Congregations 
"should be made soup of," and so resolved, but 
devolved the brewing of the broth on their neigh 
bors the Chippewas and Ottowas. These tribes 
declined the task. The half-king of the Hurons 
was then appealed to, and, from motives of compas 
sion, as he declared, "to save the believing Indians 
from total destruction," accepted the service. 

The force organized for the enterprise assembled 
at Sandusky, where they were joined by Pipe and 
his party. A war-feast was held preparatory to 
action, a roasted ox forming the repast ; and when 
the revelries appropriate to the occasion were 
ended, ammunition was served out to the men by 
Elliott, and the band, divided into companies, began 
its march. 

In the afternoon of August the loth (1781), the 
force, numbering one hundred and forty, but soon 
recruited to over three hundred men, with Pipe 
and the half- king at its head, and bearing the 
British flag, was seen, to the consternation of its in 
habitants, approaching the town of Salem. A mes 
sage was sent, conveying assurances of safety, and 
requesting the Christians to appoint a place con 
venient to the three settlements where a conference 
could be held. Gnadenhiitten was designated, on an 
accommodating plateau, in the vicinity of which, on 
the day following, the half-king ordered the pitch 
ing of his tents. The formal interview between the 



THE MORAVIAN. 155 

parties took place on the 2Oth. The half-king 
delivered the opening speech of the occasion: 

" Cousins ! Ye believing Indians in Gnaden- 
hiitten, Schonbrunn, and Salem ! I am much con 
cerned on your account, perceiving that you live 
in a very dangerous spot. Two powerful, angry, 
and merciless Gods stand ready, opening their jaws 
wide against each other: you are sitting down 
between both, and are thus in danger of being de 
voured and ground to powder by the teeth of either 
one or the other, or of both. It is therefore not 
advisable for you to stay here any longer. Con 
sider your young people, your wives and your 
children, and preserve their lives, for here they 
must all perish. I therefore take you by the hand, 
lift you up, and place you in, or near, my dwelling, 
where you will be safe and dwell in peace. Do 
not stand looking at your plantations and houses, 
but arise and follow me ! Take also your teachers 
with you, and worship God in the place to which I 
shall lead you, as you have been accustomed to do. 
You shall likewise find provisions, and our father 
beyond the lake [the governor at Detroit] will care 
for you. This is my message, and I am come 
hither purposely to deliver it." 

The orator, having ended, presented a string of 
wampum as a minute of the delivery. The mis 
sionaries requested twenty-four hours for reflection, 
and, having considered the proposition, offered, 
next day, their reply: 



156 BLACK-ROBES. 

"Uncle! Ye captains of the Delawares and 
Monseys, our friends and countrymen ! Ye Shaw- 
anese, our nephews, and all ye other people here 
assembled ! We have heard your words, but have 
not yet seen the danger so great that we might 
not stay here. We keep peace with all men, and 
have nothing to do with the war, nor do we wish 
or desire anything but to be permitted to enjoy 
peace and rest. You see yourselves that we cannot 
rise immediately and go with you, for we are heavy, 
and time is required to prepare for it. But we will 
keep and consider your words, and let you, Uncle, 
know our answer next winter after harvest. Upon 
this you may rely." 

The reply was not at all satisfactory to Captain 
Pipe, who insisted with the half-king that he should 
cease further attempts at persuasion and resort to 
compulsory measures. A council of war was called. 
As the result of its deliberations, the direct ques 
tion was put to the Christians : " Will you go with 
us, or not ?" They repeated the answer they had 
already given, and added that they intended to 
abide by it. 

A few days afterwards, Zeisberger, Senseman, 
and Heckewelder were walking together through 
one of their gardens, along a way that led to the 
burying-ground of the town, when a party of Wy- 
andots, who were concealed behind a fence, sprang 
up, seized upon them, and dragged them as pris 
oners into the camp, where they were met with 



THE MORAVIAN. 157 

derisive greetings, and hailed with the chant of 
the death-song. They were then brought before 
the half-king and his chiefs, when the proposition 
was again made, "Would they go to Sandusky, 
encourage their converts to go along, and not at 
tempt to run away from their escort on the route ?" 
With no alternative at choice, they promised, and 
were set at liberty. 

Short space was granted in which to make prep 
aration for the journey, but such arrangements as 
could be effected were undertaken without delay. 
Under cover of the night, the implements of labor 
most valuable to them plow-irons, harrow-teeth, 
hoes, saws, and culinary-ware were carried se 
cretly to the woods and buried. Having thus dis 
posed of the articles most valuable to them, but 
not conveniently portable, they loaded their canoes 
with provisions, and packed their horses with such 
lighter goods as were indispensable, especially for 
the comfort of the women and children, on the 
way. On the morning of the nth of September 
the flitting Congregations turned their backs upon 
the Muskingum villages, Gnadenhutten, Schon- 
brunn, and Salem, endeared to them by so many 
blessed associations, and began their weary march 
to the far-away scene allotted for their abode on the 
marshy lowlands of the lake-shore. Quite all the 
possessions which they had accumulated by years 
of patient industry and thrift the greater portion 
of their cattle, their herds of swine, their broad 
14 



158 



BLACK-ROBES. 



acres of maize, ripe but ungathered in the fields of 
the valleys which they had brought under culture, 
the gardens with their yield of fruits and vegetables, 
and, equally regretted, and more in the end to be 
deplored, because never recovered, books and man 
uscripts of the missionaries were left behind at 
the mercy of the ruthless horde of plunderers, who, 
ere the exiles were fairly out of view, had begun 
their work of destruction, tearing down the fences 
of the inclosures, and turning their horses in upon 
the corn. 

On the nth of October they reached the San- 
dusky. Their first care was to erect cabins for their 
protection through the winter, a bitter foretaste 
of which they already experienced in the chilling 
blasts that swept the naked wastes in midst of 
which lay their appointed quarters. These shelters, 
because of the scarcity of timber, and the distance 
across the marshes from which the nearest avail 
able supplies had to be brought, were very small, 
poorly heated, from lack of space for fireplaces, 
and entirely without flooring, the water flooding 
the interior as the recurring thaws of the season 
cracked the frozen soil and opened up sluices under 
the foundation-logs of the walls for the inundation. 
As the weeks glided by, their limited stores of pro 
vision became exhausted. The few cows which 
they had been allowed to bring with them, with 
out food, failed to yield milk, and began to die of 
hunger. To support life, recourse was had to the 



THE MORA VIAN. 1 59 

carcasses of the starved cattle, or to roots and ber 
ries, gathered, all shriveled as they were, from the 
bushes, or painfully dug out of the hard ground. 
It was a time of terrible trial to the poor Mora 
vians. The strong among them found their ener 
gies rapidly giving way; famished children wept 
and prayed and raved for bread ; while nursing 
mothers, scarce able to maintain a wretched being 
of their own, could afford no nourishment for the 
helpless starvelings at their bosoms, lying there 
wailing and dying in their arms. It became pain 
fully evident that immediate action must be taken 
for the relief of the suffering community. A gen 
eral consultation was held, the result of which was 
the appointment of a deputation consisting of about 
one hundred and fifty men, women, and children, 
to return to the Muskingum and procure supplies 
out of what might remain of the unharvested crops 
on the abandoned plantations of that river. The 
party was organized, and, after an affectionate in 
terchange of adieus with the friends that were to 
remain behind, started upon its errand. 

Meanwhile, upon a citation from De Peyster, 
Zeisberger, Senseman, Heckewelder, and Edwards, 
led by the half-king, Girty, who was to have as 
sisted him, being fortunately absent, with a band 
of Wyandots, on a raid along the Ohio bottoms, 
had repaired to Detroit. The commandant received 
them kindly, lodged them and provided for their 
wants with praiseworthy liberality. On the appear- 



1 60 BLA CK-ROBES. 

ance of their accuser, Captain Pipe, they were sum 
moned before De Peyster for examination. The 
captain failing in his anticipated proofs of the trea 
sonable correspondence complained of, and, in fact, 
after some hesitation, making a complete retraction 
of his charges, public declaration was made of their 
innocence, and the missionaries were not only set 
at liberty, but commended for their fearless devo 
tion to the noble and disinterested work to which 
they had dedicated their lives. 

Sad as was the trial of separation that day when 
the relief-party, appointed to go to the old settle 
ments for food, started on their journey, it was not 
what it would have been could a suspicion have 
arisen of the consequences merely as a possible 
contingency that were to follow the enterprise. 
Prowling bands of savages on the one hand, and 
gangs of rude border-men on the other, were known 
to be abroad, but it was not anticipated that they 
would be encountered in any force, or, if they 
should be, that violence was necessarily to be ap 
prehended from either. Their friendly understand 
ing with the American officers at Pittsburg had not 
been disturbed, and it was hardly to be looked for 
that the heathen clans mostly tribesmen of their 
own would deal more cruelly with them, at worst, 
than they had already done, the risk of which, to 
that extent, they were willing, for the end in view, 
to hazard. Proper caution, nevertheless, was to 



THE MORAVIAN. 161 

be observed, and they decided, upon reaching the 
Muskingum, not to visit the towns, but to encamp 
in the woods. They were making their arrange 
ments accordingly, when two or three of their fel- 
low-communionists, happening in upon them from 
Pittsburg, gave such assurances of non-interference 
from that quarter, that, for the greater convenience 
of their business, they concluded to change their 
plans and occupy the villages. 

For several weeks, toiling night and day, they 
pursued their labors, plucking the ears from the 
stalks, stripping off the husks, and carrying great 
loads of the corn away to carefully-prepared hiding- 
places in the woods ; whence, from time to time, 
and with ease and dispatch, future supplies might 
be obtained, as the wants of the Congregation de 
manded. One evening, when their task was nearly 
completed, four Sandusky warriors appeared among 
them on their way back from an expedition down 
among the white settlements on the Ohio. They 
had captured a woman and a child in the valley, 
while wandering, so they said, both of whom they 
had killed and impaled on the river-shore. The 
victims, it was added, would be discovered, with 
out doubt were already discovered, pursuit would 
certainly follow, and unless the Brethren, who, if 
not set down as its actual perpetrators, would be 
charged with having connived at the deed, made 
instant retreat towards the lake, they would, in all 
likelihood, be overtaken and murdered. Relying- 



1 62 BLACK-ROBES. 

upon their well-known reputation as a society re 
ligiously averse to bloodshed, and satisfied, against 
whatever treacherous suggestion, with the pledges 
of friendship so recently renewed at Pittsburg, they 
declined, after consultation, to act upon the advice 
of the warriors. 

By this time, however, they had laid up as large 
a stock of provision as was desired, and notice was 
accordingly served throughout the villages for all 
to put themselves in readiness for returning to 
Sandusky. On the day previous to the one fixed 
for their departure, Jacob, one of the converts, 
stood on the river-bank, a short distance from 
Gnadenhiitten, and, while engaged in tying a corn- 
sack, saw a body of from one to two hundred white 
men approaching the town. He was on the point 
of saluting the company, when to his consterna 
tion a shot was fired from its ranks at one of the 
Christian Indians, who, at the moment, was cross 
ing the river in a canoe. The shot seemed to tell 
with mortal effect, the man dropping from his seat 
at the Discharge, into the bottom of his vessel. 
Jacob fled affrighted, but, instead of escaping to one 
or other of the villages and giving the alarm, he ran 
to the woods, where he lay hidden for twenty-four 
hours. There was no other witness of the occur 
rence, the rest of the Brethren being scattered, 
beyond view, here and there in the cornfields. 

The company of border-men continued their 
march, without any further act of hostility, until 



THE MORAVIAN. 163 

they had approached the fields where the Indians 
were at work. On meeting with them they mani 
fested great cordiality; expressing themselves as 
entertaining an ardent sympathy for the Brother 
hood ; referring to their handsome chapel in rather 
extravagant terms of admiration, and discoursing, 
with a zeal that was very captivating, as indica 
tive of a highly-sanctified temper of heart, upon 
religious topics. They then declared the object 
of their visit. They were there "as friends and 
brothers, who had purposely come out to relieve 
them from the distresses brought on by the enemy 
on account of their being friends to the Ameri 
can people," and formally proposed to conduct 
them to Pittsburg, where their wants would all be 
satisfied. The Christians, unsuspicious of evil, 
reciprocated their greetings with unaffected warmth, 
and expressed a cheerful willingness to follow them 
as proposed. "God has ordained it," they ex 
claimed, in their gratitude, " that relief should 
reach us, and that we should not perish in the 
barrens of Sandusky." 

Having all gathered in at Gnadenhiitten, worJ 
was sent to Salem of the arrival of the whites 
quite a detachment of the latter accompanying the 
messengers appointed to convey the intelligence ' 
and of their charitable intentions, inviting the 
Brethren there to come over and join in the pro 
posed movement. They gladly acquiesced in the 
arrangement. The simple preparations .1 cessary 



!64 BLACK-ROBES. 

or possible were soon made. Out of con 
sideration for their greater comfort in journeying, 
urged tenderly, but so tenaciously as to have jus 
tified a suspicion of some unfair intention, if the 
honest Moravians had been given to doubting, the 
whites proposed, and were permitted, to take in 
charge all their guns, axes, and knives, with the 
promise that they should be restored upon their 
arrival at Pittsburg. 

The party reached Gnadenhiitten. Assembled 
all in the village, a change, marvelous as sudden, 
took place in the conduct of the border-men. No 
longer needed now in the further prosecution of 
their plans, disguise was cast aside, and the de 
ceivers presented themselves in their genuine char 
acter. They charged upon the Moravians, inso 
lently and unblushingly, although they knew the 
allegation to be false, that they were not what they 
claimed to be ; that their professions were hypo 
critical, their practices dishonest; that their horses 
had been stolen from the white settlers, as was in 
dicated by the letters for what knowledge had 
they of letters ? with which they were branded ; 
that their axes, stamped with white men's names, 
had been procured in the same way, as were also 
'their wooden bowls, their spoons, their teakettles, 
pots, cups, and other utensils of the sort ; in short, 
that they were warriors and enemies, and that they 
must make up their minds to meet the treatment 
due them as such. 



THE MORAVIAN. l6| 

In vain the unhappy creatures whom they had 
entrapped protested their innocence. They could 
account for the lawful arid honest acquisition of 
every article of property in their possession. The 
irons for the brands were made by the smiths 
on their own order, to mark their own horses 
for identification among themselves. With their 
habits refined under training of the missiona 
ries, and enabled thereto out of the abundance 
rewarding their industry, they were qualified to 
live, and did live, like Christian people, and had 
long owned, and had in use, the cooking and other 
domestic implements peculiar to civilized life. That 
they were not heathen Indians, or of those that were 
at strife with the Americans, might be seen from 
the fact that they did hot appear in the savage cos 
tume ; nor were their faces painted, nor did they 
wear the feathers, nor the scalp-locks, which dis 
tinguished the warriors. Some few of the border- 
men were inclined to deal leniently with them, and 
indeed refused to participate in the after-proceed 
ings, but the majority were not to be moved. Their 
fate was sealed. 

Two adjoining buildings were selected as places 
of confinement, into one of which the men were 
thrust, and the women and children into the other. 
A council of the whites was hastily held, after 
which the formal announcement was made to the 
prisoners that they must die. With folded hands, 
imploring piteously, they prayed for life. The ears 



1 66 BLACK-ROBES. 

of their captors were deaf to entreaty, and if 
they yielded so far, at length, as to postpone the 
execution of their resolve until next day, it is more 
than likely that the respite was granted, not from 
motives of compassion, but that, like tigers, they 
might enjoy the tortures of their prey, and from 
their agonies derive a keener relish for to-morrow's 
feast of blood. Convinced at length that the con 
sciences with which they had to do were proof 
against appeal, they ceased the effort. " We can 
call God to witness," said they, " that we are per 
fectly innocent; yet we are prepared and willing 
to suffer death." 

No symptom of weakness betrayed itself there 
after. They had made their plea, earnestly but 
not cravenly, as true men may. It had failed. 
They accepted the failure, and with unfaltering 
composure awaited what was to come. Hero 
ism had never a nobler illustration than was ex 
emplified in their cases at that most trying crisis. 
All through the night devotional services were 
kept up ; words of exhortation were interchanged, 
mutual confessions made, and prayers and praises 
offered at the throne of Grace. " I have been an 
untoward child," said Brother Abraham, "and 
have grieved the Lord by my disobedience, not 
walking as I ought to have done, yet will I 
cleave to my Saviour with my last breath. I 
know assuredly that He will forgive me all my 
sins and not cast me out." While still religiously 



THE MORAVIAN. 167 

engaged, singing together a hymn at the moment, 
the impatient ruffians who had voluntarily assumed 
the task, entered the rooms, and, harshly interrupt 
ing the proceedings, asked the prisoners if they 
were ready. They had committed their immortal 
souls to God, they said, and were ready. One of 
the border-men took hold of a cooper's mallet that 
lay on the floor, observing, as he did so, "How ex 
actly this will answer for the purpose!" and with a 
heavily-wielded blow at the head of Brother Abra 
ham brought him to the floor. Plying the weapon 
right and left, he did not pause until fourteen of the 
Christians were prostrate, struggling in the agonies 
of death. He then delivered the mallet to one of 
his fellows, remarking, " My arm fails me ! Go 
you on in the same way !" And so, while a victim 
remained, the work of butchery continued. 

Sixty-two men and women and thirty-four 
children were stricken down, scalped, and left 
crushed and bleeding on the floors of these 
slaughter-pens. Two only escaped ; one, who by 
adroit management had extricated himself from 
the cords with which he had been bound, crawled 
through a window and secreted himself in the 
cellar of the house in which the Sisters were con 
fined, their blood streaming down upon him 
through the seams in the floor as he crouched 
there ; and another, who, felled, scalped, and left for 
dead like the rest, had nevertheless revived after 
wards ; betraying the fact, however, by no sign, but 



1 68 BLACK-ROBES. 

lying where he had fallen among the slain, with 
out motion or groan, although suffering indescrib 
able torture. In this predicament he lingered while 
the light lasted, and as long as there was danger 
of discovery. Under cover of the darkness both 
managed to retreat undetected from the building 
and gain the woods, whence, as the night deepened, 
they resumed their flight, and after a painful jour 
ney succeeded, at length, in reaching Sandusky in 
safety. But ere yet beyond view of the village, as 
they were able to relate to the horrified Congrega 
tion on the lake-shore, they had seen the torches 
applied to the slaughter-pens ; they had seen the 
flames leap up and reach and spread, until the 
buildings were all enveloped in the blaze ; and, in 
the glare of the fire, they had witnessed the dark 
forms of the border-men group and mingle, and in 
grim pantomime make display of their exultation 
at sight of this closing act of the hideous tragedy. 
Among the victims of the massacre was Glikkikan, 
the Delaware captain, who from the date of his con 
version had continued, through all its vicissitudes 
of fortune, with the Congregation, loyal to the Faith, 
and true in his attachment to the missionaries. 

Early in the morning of the day following the 
fatal one at Gnadenhutten, the band of assassins 
mounted their horses and started for Schonbrunn, 
to enact similar violence against the Christians 
who had taken shelter in that settlement. For 
tunately, two Brethren from that locality, walking 



THE MORA VIAN. 



169 



towards Gnadenhiitten, encountered accidentally 
the dead body of one of their number, a young 
convert called Joseph Shabosh, who had been se 
cretly murdered, like the boatman, while out alone, 
and about a mile apart from the rest of his people. 
Noticing the tracks of shod hoofs in the soil, they 
suspected danger, hastened back and alarmed their 
neighbors. When the border-men reached the 
village they found it deserted; and although the 
Indians who had fled were retired so short a 
distance up the river that they could see the 
movements of their pursuers, they remained un 
discovered. After robbing the houses and stables 
of whatever properties of value they could lay 
hands upon, the plunderers, without choosing to 
resume pursuit, turned about and took up their 
route for home. Arrived at Pittsburg, the effects 
which they had stolen were offered for sale at 
public auction ; on which occasion the scalps 
taken were brought out and proudly exposed, as 
trophies of heroic achievement, before the gaze of 
admiring bidders and beholders. 

To COLONEL DAVID WILLIAMSON belongs the 
distinction of having led, as ruffian-in-chief, in this 
memorable adventure. If he is to be accredited with 
the account of the expedition, as published at the 
time in the Pennsylvania Gazette, wherein it is said, 
" We arrived at the town (Gnadenhiitten) in the 
night, undiscovered ; attacked the Indians in their 
cabins, and so completely surprised them that we 



1 70 BLA CK-R OSES. 

killed and scalped upwards of ninety, but a few 
making their escape, and returned to the Ohio 
without the loss of a man," then was he contemp 
tible as a mendacious braggart. " Did you not 
hail and welcome the believing Indians," was the 
more truthful charge uttered against him and his 
gang by the savages, alluding to this occasion, 
shortly after, "as friends? You assured them of 
your friendship. You told them that they need 
not fear any harm from you. Did they run from 
you when they saw you coming ? Did they fire a 
single shot at you ? No. We warriors warned 
them to beware of you arid your pretended friend 
ship; but they would not believe, and for this they 
paid with their lives." If when, two months after 
wards, a second expedition was undertaken to finish 
the work at Sandusky so prosperously begun on 
the Muskingum, and when in turn the border-men 
were surprised, the projector of the movement was 
the first man to take advantage of chance, desert his 
comrades and seek safety in flight; and if in that 
same adventure the more honorable but less for 
tunate Colonel Crawford, who would not abandon 
his followers, was captured, most cruelly tortured, 
and murdered, in retaliation for the crime in which 
he had not participated, then was the denunciation 
of the civilized world well bestowed, and the judg 
ment of the savages well awarded, when they 
pronounced the leader in both enterprises a black 
hearted assassin, a betrayer, and a coward. 



THE MORA VIA N. \ ; i 



VII. 

THE DISPERSION OF THE CONGREGATION; ITS RESTO 
RATION, AND ITS RETURN TO THE MUSKINGUM. 

THE condition of the Brethren on the San- 
dusky was melancholy in the extreme. 
Their place of habitation amid the soggy flats of 
that half-deluged region was inhospitable, com 
fortless, and of such dismal associations that they 
would not give it name, but left it as a blot or a 
blank to fill its place in the record of their wander 
ings. The lancjs around them were rich enough 
in the production of rank and unwholesome vege 
tation, such as found indigenous growth in the 
contaminate soil; but no effort of industry could 
overcome their stubborn resistance to every at 
tempt at better culture. The winter climate was 
cruel beyond endurance. In months of milder 
temperature the air was charged with pestilence. 
Men pined miserably from disease and want. 
Fevers racked their bodies. The proper prey of 
vultures cattle fallen dead by the wayside, of 
famine was a last resort for sustenance, upon 
which they fed hungrily. Persecutions assailed 
them from every quarter. They found themselves 
betrayed by friends in whom they had trusted ; and 
the hands which they had clasped in pledge of that 



172 BLACK-ROBES. 

confidence, lifted treacherously against them, were 
red with the blood of their martyred kindred. 
They were despised and rejected of the tribes of 
their own race ; and how could they hope, and for 
what could they hope, from the people that recog 
nized Pipe as a partisan, and Girty and McKee 
and Elliott as allies ? Their missionaries, towards 
whom, in the cares of life, they had been used to look 
for guidance and support, had been forced away 
and kept in banishment God seemed to have for 
gotten to be merciful ; to have disowned their de 
votion, mocked at their calamities, and given them 
over utterly to helpless, hopeless abandonment. 

Some of the better qualified by grace and faith 
among the converts, who had been accustomed to 
serve as assistants to the missionaries, maintained 
the forms of worship in the community, the exer 
cises peculiar to which were for some time marked 
by affecting displays of interest; but the artful con 
spirators- who had successfully engineered the re 
moval of the shepherds were not to be easily foiled 
in their experiments upon the flock. They pois 
oned the ears of the people with baneful accusa 
tions against their white leaders. The Muskingum 
massacre, they alleged, was planned with their 
knowledge; else why, instead of waiting with their 
followers to share the disaster that was to happen, 
had they allowed themselves to be carried off to a 
place of safety beyond the water? Murmurs of 
discontent at length began to prevail. Here and 



THE MORA VIAN. 



173 



there a discipje of weak faith gave way. Soon 
backsliders made open confession of relapse, and 
boldly advocated apostasy to the rest. To com 
plete the array of adversities hemming the unfor 
tunates about, and closing in upon them irresistibly, 
the arm of civil authority was interposed. The 
half-king of the Hurons, " so incessantly tormented 
by his evil conscience that he could not rest as 
long as any Christian Indians were in his neigh 
borhood to remind him of his treacherous and 
cruel behavior," commanded them peremptorily to 
disband and leave the country. The order was not 
to be disputed. Heavy at heart for the separations 
that were to take place, but without a sigh of re 
gret at parting from the huts of logs and bark in 
which a wretched tarrying of six months had been 
endured, and that were never sanctified by a single 
endearing home association, on an April day (1782) 
they gathered up the ragged remains of their pos 
sessions, took their various courses and wandered 
off, some to the country of the Shawanese, and 
some to the Miami River. And so the community 
was broken in. pieces; and so the nameless settle 
ment on the Sand u sky was abandoned forever. 

The missionaries had scarcely retired from De 
troit, after their acquittal in the trial to which refer 
ence has been made, when, upon additional charges 
preferred by the same parties, they were again 
brought before the commandant. On this occa 
sion, however, they were not subjected to even the 

is* 



1 74 BLA CK-R OBES. 

form of an examination. The commandant was 
satisfied of their innocence, and assured them that 
it was only with a view to their welfare that he 
had ordered their appearance at Detroit, being 
convinced, from reliable information, that if they 
remained at Sandusky it would be at the imminent 
hazard of their lives. He gave them permission to 
tarry under his protection at Detroit, or return to 
Bethlehem, as they chose. Duty and affection for 
bade their assent to either arrangement. It would 
be inhuman, it would be unchristian, in the hour 
of trial to forsake their scattered flock entirely. 
Their first wish was to establish a settlement in 
some new and safe locality, where they could gather 
around them their dispersed people, contribute to 
their comfort, and preserve them in the faith of 
the gospel. Learning their project, De Peyster 
approved of it, and, exerting his influence with the 
Chippewas, secured a grant from that tribe of a 
portion of their territory on the Huron River, 
thirty miles above Detroit, for their use. The mis 
sionaries took possession of the little domain, 
measured off fields, laid out gard ns, built cabins 
of bark, and sent messages to the wandered exiles 
of the Congregation, inviting them to repair to the 
NEW-GNADENHUTTEN reared for their reception. 
Abraham, the old Mohican captain and early con 
vert, was one of the first to respond. Others 
followed, and soon again others, singly and in 
families, until quite a community was gathered in, 



THE MORAVIAN. 175 

V 

and the new village began to wear an inhabited 
air and assume something of that homelike aspect 
which had so endeared their former settlements to 
the hearts of the Christians. 

Before winter set in, the temporary bark huts 
were torn away and comfortable log cabins put up 
in their stead. The ground was cleared of under 
wood, in readiness for the plow and spade, when the 
coming of seed-time should call'Tor their employ 
ment Colonel De Peyster generously furnished 
supplies of garden and farming tools, a boat, a pair 
of cows, and some horses ; his wife, at the same 
time, offering, as her contribution, an assortment 
of seeds, roots, and plants. To meet the wants of 
the people through the winter, hunting and trap 
ping were resorted to ; what flesh they had to spare, 
together with the hides and furs of the captured 
game, being taken to Detroit and there exchanged 
for meal and wearing-apparel. The women, and 
men inexpert at the use of the rifle or the snare, 
remained at home, improving their leisure in the 
manufacture of canoes, baskets, bowls, ladles, and 
brooms, or, further on in the season, tapping the 
maples in the neighboring groves and distilling 
their juices into sugar. With these articles quite a 
traffic was carried on with the white population in 
and about the British fort. 

Thus the first winter, and so year after year, 
passed by. Busy hands did what was possible to 
improve the lands, and make more and more com- 



1 76 BLA CK-R OSES. 

fortable the dwellings and neat and ornamental the 
thoroughfares. The rough features of the native 
wil'ds of the vicinity were made smooth ; meadows 
lay green and smiling on the water-shores where 
thickets of stunted oak-saplings, densely grown, 
had flourished ; and cattle browsed on open ranges 
pastures teeming with verdure where, in the 
copses, foxes erewhile had made their hiding- 
places, and the cleer had taken for refuge when 
pursued by the hunter. 

The religion of the Moravian meant work as well 
as worship. While demanding strictly its tithes 
of devotional offering, it exacted no less rigidly its 
equal measure of muscular'tribute. A system of 
belief thus severe in its requirements was as little 
to the relish of the savage as could it be less than ? 
it would have been to the mass of paler-com- 
plexioned and more orthodox creedists. It called 
for long years of patient labor among the folk of 
their chosen nation, to win over to the Unity the 
converts of which its small flock was composed. 
The flesh more powerfully than the devil was up 
in arms against the attempted innovation. Under 
God, Zeisberger and his colleagues, with the Dela- 
wares to deal with, were more than a match for 
their antagonists, and out of that people were able 
to attract followers, and hold them fast and faith 
ful, through whatever vicissitude of trial, to the new 
profession. But the Lenni-Lenapes were a race 
among whom virtue was not altogether effete, nor 



THE MORAVIAN. 177 

life in its diviner instincts without an aspiration. 
The Chippewas, on the other hand, were a misera 
bly degraded tribe, sunk so low as over the purely 
animal scarcely to have maintained a rational level 
in the scale of being. Indolent knaves were they, 
who derived their chief subsistence from hunting 
and fishing, or, when these resources failed, who 
found a satisfactory substitute in frogs, dogs, 
muskrats, and dead horses. Wedded to their 
groveling ways, they saw nothing to captivate 
them in the toilsome pursuits and compulsory 
observances of the Christians. 

The missionaries labored long to educate these 
savages to a loftier conception of life and its duties, 
but their efforts were futile. Between societies 
whose materials were of such incongruous compo 
sition, there could exist no common element of 
attraction. They might exercise a mutual forbear 
ance for awhile ; but that virtue is of a precarious 
temper, and, if it does not ripen ere long into a feel 
ing of more generous cast, is apt to degenerate into 
a sentiment of aversion. Four years of residence 
were spent at the settlement on the Huron. In the 
beginning the heathen had received the Congrega 
tion of exiles kindly. The novelty of the Chris 
tian usages having worn off, indifference followed, 
then distrust, then dissatisfaction. Complaints 
began to be made. Their hospitality was being 
unreasonably taxed. They wanted their own lands 
for their d\vn purposes. The country thereabouts 



1 78 BLACK-ROBES. 

constituted their choicest hunting-grounds. The 
Moravians were clearing out their woods, killing 
their game, and soon, unless rid of their guests, 
they would be left destitute. Moreover, the causes 
no longer existed which had induced the offer of 
accommodation to the Society. The war had 
ended; peace was restored, and they were at 
liberty to go where they would, with none to 
molest them or make them afraid. 

Although their occupation of New-Gnadenhut- 
ten had been one of uninterrupted repose; although 
Providence, rewarding their toils, had given them 
to enjoy plentifully of the means promotive of ease 
and comfort, yet the attachments of the Brethren 
to the place were not so many, nor so strong, but 
that they could be broken without insupportable 
regret. There were no endearing associations 
connected with the spot. The marked events of 
their experience their struggles, their successes, 
their joys, and their griefs all dated back in the 
past, and were linked with other scenes and other 
times. Lichtenau and Salem, the Beautiful Spring 
and the Tents of Grace, were the Zion to which their 
thoughts reverted. There had they witnessed their 
triumphs and been used to join their thousand 
voices in glad psalms of rejoicing. There had they 
suffered together when overtaken by calamity, and 
there the bones of their dead lay buried. 

The missionaries had been defeated in the grand 
project which they had undertaken. On the eve 



THE MORAVIAN. 



of success, when their chapels were filled with 
attentive hearers; when chieftains, warriors, and 
counselors thronged with the multitude to listen to 
the messages of inspiration ; and when the belief, 
which they had labored for forty years to establish 
as the national faith of the Delawares, seemed 
about to displace the ancient superstition, they 
found their plans thwarted, their work wrecked, 
their brotherhood banished, broken and scattered, 
and the expectations upon which they had reck 
oned so fondly blighted forever. In the choice 
of this their latest tarrying-place they had scarcely 
looked for more than to gather in, and maintain in 
the Unity, such scattered remnants as they might 
of their dispersed people. This done, they could 
entertain no dearer desire than, when the door of 
deliverance opened, to take up again their pilgrim 
age, retrace the ways of their wandering, and, as the 
day of their prosperity declined, to spend serenely 
its closing hours amid the scenes where they had 
enjoyed the full lustre of its noon, on the old 
familiar shores of the Muskingum. 

When, therefore, the Chippewas intimated a de 
sire for their removal, the Congregation, ministers 
and members, assented to the suggestion without 
a complaint. On the 2Oth of April, 1786, they as 
sembled for the last time in their chapel ; presented 
their oblation of prayer and praise, thanking the 
Lord for his mercies and commending themselves 
to his protection; then, embarking in their canoes, 



1 80 BLA CK-R OBES. 

twenty-two in number, they bade adieu to the 
friends collected to witness their departure, shoved 
the vessels from the shore, and were gone. 

It does not fall within the design of this sketch 
to follow further in detail the progress of the wan 
derers ; to describe the alarms that caused a delay of 
a year at Pilgerruh, the Pilgrims' Rest ; to speak 
of the longer sojourn at Pettquotting, where Gillele- 
mend, or Killbuck, embraced the gospel and was 
baptized; nor of their return to Michigan, and of 
their temporary settlement at Fairfield. The oppor 
tunity tocarry out theircherished intention occurred 
at length, and on the 4th of October, 1798, seven 
teen years after their expulsion, the Congregation 
of exiles were back again on the banks of the Elk- 
Eye. They found their lands overgrown with tall, 
coarse grass, and infested with serpents. Briers 
and bushes, the harbor of wild beasts, thicketed 
the site of Gnadenhiitten ; all traces of which were 
lost except the ruins of a house or two, and, there 
where the slaughter-pens had stood, a heap of 
ashes, with here and there a bone not altogether 
consumed, indicating with melancholy certainty 
the scene of that awful visitation, never to be 
forgotten, of violence and fire, of treachery and 
assassination. 

With the retirement of the Brethren from New- 
Gnadenhutten the mission in the wilderness may 
be said to have terminated. The new settlement 
of Goshen, erected eight miles from the spot where 



THE MORA VIAN. 1 8 1 

Gnadenhutten had stood, on the Muskingum, was 
planted at a time when the region round about was 
rapidly filling up with white settlers. Axes were 
laid at the roots of the trees ; clearings were made ; 
the scared game was deserting the woods ; squat 
ters, tomahawk in hand to notch the corner hicko 
ries, were marking off their claims ; log cabins 
were springing up, and the valley of the Mus 
kingum was within the line of the border. The re 
sistance of the savage to the encroachments of the 
pioneer only lacked the spasmodic attempt made 
shortly after by Tecumseh, to be abandoned in 
despair. Their disintegration and dispersion soon 
followed. With the tide of emigration flocked in 
other interpreters of inspiration, stout defenders 
of the Faith, but whose zeal in the service never 
led them to tempt the perils and privations of a 
life beyond the advance posts of civilization. A 
new theatre for denominational .rivalry a supple 
mentary stage for church extension was found. 
The old field of Christian occupation, as among 
the Gentiles, was lost. The work of the Moravian 
was ended. 



16 



THE METHODIST. 



THE METHODIST. 



I. 



THE METHODIST PREACHER OF THE BORDER NASCI- 

TUR, NON FIT. 

AS with the Jesuit began, so with the Moravian 
ended the missionary enterprises of the wil 
derness. While the Indian tribes peopled the land, 
and, as national communities, claimed and held the 
exclusive ownership of the soil ; while a trespass 
upon their domain, or an offense against their cus 
toms, involved the risk of calamitous consequences; 
and while to be among them was to be shut out, 
utterly, from all fellowship with civilized society, 
the follower of Loyola and the disciple of Huss 
were permitted to enjoy undisputed possession of 
the field. " Evangelical" competitors stood aloof. 
It was their business to keep pace with the prog 
ress of light ; not to invade the kingdom of dark 
ness. Their boldest advances never reached be 
yond the clearings. Did Brainerd " undertake the 
arduous work of a missionary to wild barbarians" ? 
The work was a few months' toil at the Forks of 
the Delaware, and the wild barbarians were Irish- 
16* ( 185 ) 



1 86 BLACK-ROBES. 

men as well as aborigines. John Stewart, the mu 
latto Methodist exhorter, in 1816, "located" tem 
porarily among a band of Hurons at Sandusky, but 
it was thirteen years after Ohio had been admitted 
as a State into the Union. Isaac McCoy, a very 
worthy Baptist divine, established the Carey Mis 
sion among the Pottawottamies on the St. Joseph's 
River, in Michigan, but it was in 1822, when the 
Territory had already been represented for three 
years in Congress. Indeed, even though a self- 
denying spirit equal to the undertaking had not 
been wanting, more adventurous enterprise could 
scarcely have been expected, when the esteem is 
considered in which the savages were held by the 
sects of the day. They were imps of hell's beget 
ting, whom it was religious duty to exterminate, 
the predestined victims of perdition, whom it was 
contempt of God's decrees to try to bring under 
sanctifying influence, Hittites an 1 Girgashites 
possessing the land, whom it was the bounden 
duty of the Lord's elect, rather, to smite and 
utterly destroy, to make no covenant with, and in 
whose favor to show no mercy : all consistently 
with the gospel according to Moses. Entertaining 
such views of the present status and future pros 
pects of the race, to have attempted their refor 
mation would have been more than a work of 
supererogation : it would have been to dispute the 
designs of Providence, to squander the time of his 
servants, and rashly and imprudently to expose the 



THE METHODIST. 187 

safety of their persons. They declined the ven 
ture. As others of their own people led, they might 
dare to folk w, but discreetly, within bounds, and 
never beyond where the surveyor and the squatter, 
at least, had been before, to prepare the way and 
make straight the paths for the succession. 

The cession to the British, by the Iroquois, of the 
country south of the Alleghany and Ohio Rivers, 
i.i 1768, opened up the extensive regions of that 
portion of Pennsylvania drained by the Mononga- 
hela, Western Virginia, and Kentucky to the occu 
pation of the whites. Explorers penetrated the 
wilderness, speedily followed by traders, who com 
menced a lucrative business in furs and skins with 
the Indians. These, in their turn, were succeeded 
by adventurers of more reputable vocation ; men 
who, with their rifles on their shoulders and their 
dogs at their heels, preferred to win by skill and 
daring the valuable spoils which had been the ob 
jects of barter to their predecessors. The favorable 
report given upon their return, of the countries 
which they visited, aroused attention. Listeners 
to their narratives, told in social circles or at do 
mestic firesides, especially the young who had yet 
their fortunes to carve out, and who wanted neither 
the vigor nor the will to do it, were easily tempted 
to make trial on their own account ; and so, from 
the old settlements of Eastern Virginia and North 
Carolina, started that tide of emigration which was 
soon to make populous all the new border, from 



1 88 BLACK-ROBES. 

the valley of the Monongahela to the far hunting- 
grounds of the Cherokees on the Kentucky. Per 
manent settlers occupied the lands. Surveys were 
made, cabins were built, acres were cleared, the 
soil was tilled, farm was added to farm, villages 
sprang up, and all abroad the inflowing popula 
tions were spreading, mooring, improving, and 
multiplying. As the process of importation went 
on, speculators joined in it, helping to swell the 
moving current and add to the list of their des 
tined victims. Extensive tracts were bought, or 
laid claim to, by these professional sharpers, which 
were sold in parcels to newly-arriving emigrants, 
who seldom paused to inquire into the validity of 
titles, and were made the subjects of gross imposi 
tion. They frequently paid the price of their pur 
chases two or three times over, to find that even 
then their claims were utterly invalid. The country 
beyond the Ohio attracted their attention. Its lands 
were not in the market, and therefore lay out of 
the reach of the avaricious operator. The shores 
wore a fruitful and inviting aspect. Easily induced 
to run the risk of annoyance from the savages, the 
settlers, many of them, resolved upon a change, 
and, crossing the river, began to take possession of 
the new territory, establishing their settlements in 
the regions watered by the Muskingum, the Scioto, 
and the Miami. 

But the provinces of the lower coast were not to 
enjoy a monopoly of the new field of occupation. 



THE METHODIST. 189 

Massachusetts, some twenty years subsequently to 
the movement of her more enterprising sisters, put 
in her claim. A party of emigrants under the 
auspices of the " Ohio Company" crossed the 
mountains, reached the Youghiogheny, built a 
vessel, which, in honor of the memorable craft that 
had borne their fathers on a still more ..daring 
voyage, they called the " Mayflower," and, pursuing 
the remainder of their journey by water, tarried not 
until they had attained their point of destination, 
at the mouth of the Muskingum. The tract in 
cluded in the grant of the company covered a large 
portion of the eastern section of what was after 
wards the State of Ohio, and was not of the 
choicest part of its territory; but the "Huckle 
berry Knobs " were a vast improvement on the 
sterile patches of New England, and the new 
comers were delighted with the change. Glowing 
accounts were sent back of the country. It was a 
land flowing, literally, with milk and honey. Its 
meadows, without cultivation, were equal to the 
support of millions of cattle, winter and summer. 
Sicily could not afford finer wheat-lands. There 
were bogs producing cranberries enough to supply 
tarts for all New England ; while the legs of the 
horses roving the plains were dyed to the knees 
with the juice of the wild strawberry. Fresh re 
cruits poured rapidly and continuously in. Mari 
etta sprang at once into importance as a town. The 
neighboring country filled up, the axe laying bare 



1 90 BLA CK-R OBES. 

new openings for homesteads farther and farther 
back into the woods. School-houses were built, 
teachers employed, and, in a short time, all the 
machinery by which well-regulated Yankee com 
munities at home are governed, set swimmingly 
in motion. 

Thus were the nearer quarters of the Northwest 
Territory invaded at the south and at the east, 
and thus were brought together in the same Com 
monwealth two various classes, which were ulti 
mately to blend together, and out of their united 
thrift and enterprise to build up one of the most 
prosperous and populous republics in the whole 
of the confederate group. 

As between these classes, there were striking 
points of contrast. The Down-Easter, in his trans 
plantation, lost none of his distinguishing charac 
teristics. He was his identical self on the border 
as in the Bay State. His institutions he had brought 
with him as part and parcel of the miscella 
neous stock of "notions" that constituted his 
baggage, his Bible and his ballot-box, his spell 
ing- and his statute-book (is it superfluous to add, 
his jack-knife and his dialect ?), all that could be 
made available " to secure civil rights, establish 
law and order, introduce a pure religion, and pro 
vide for universal education." True to the habits 
in which he had been trained : of thinking, and 
he was shrewd at it ; of doing, and he never 
wearied of it ; of appearing, and, down to his 



THE METHODIST. 191 

cloth, its cut and its brass buttons, he never varied 
in it, he underwent no change ; dealing with his 
neighbor, serving God and himself as he had 
always done, as his fathers before him had done, 
and as his children after him would continue to do. 
Not so with the Virginian. Cut loose from his 
anchorage on the Chesapeake, he left all behind 
him, as he went on his wanderings, save a stout 
heart throbbing for adventure, and a stanch arm 
nerved to achieve it. The old ways of life, the 
influences of home and of society, except as they 
may have operated to induce a general tendency 
of character, were discarded and abandoned. He 
threw them off, as unsuited to the uses and the 
fashions of the woods. Accoutred in his hunting- 
shirt of linsey-woolsey, his buckskin breeches, fox- 
skin cap, and easily-fitting moccasins, and with his 
rifle, his pouch, and the knife at h s belt as his only 
impedimenta, he launched out, freighted to his full 
desire, upon his voyage. At his journey's end 
he could find him the means to satisfy his wants 
as their cravings demanded. Hungry, the forest 
abounded with every variety of game from which 
to choose his fare. Overtaken by nightfall, and 
anxious for repose after the toils of a day, the 
shadow of a rock, a shelter of boughs thrown 
loosely together, or a bed of leaves with the broad 
oak-branches overhead for cover, lent ample accom 
modation for his comfort. In unrestricted freedom 
he roamed the forest, knowing no law save the law 



1 92 BLACK-ROBES. 

of right between man and man, which he was 
scrupulous to respect himself, and for which, in his 
own behalf, he would have contended to the death. 
Uneducated, and without opportunity of instruc 
tion other than such as his own experience offered, 
the sciences of the schools were sealed mysteries 
to him, but his understanding was not wanting in 
the "gifts" well cultivated that suited much 
better the exigencies of his case. He had his 
religion. If, in the practical working, it partook 
of the severe type of the older dispensation, when 
retaliation was a virtue, and " a tooth for a tooth " 
an accepted maxim among the faithful, it was 
because the flesh is weak, and temptation, with 
treachery and cruelty to contend against, is strong; 
and because man, until sanctified by the purer in 
fluences of the gospel, is of the earth, earthy, frail, 
fallible, and inflammable. 

The example of the adventurer was not lost upon 
the squatter, nor that of the squatter upon the set 
tlers; so that when, in a short time, the region was 
filled with a more numerous population, its con 
stituents came in for a share of the inheritance ; the 
original leaven in the little was still perceptible in 
the lump. In selecting lands for improvement, the 
party intending to " locate" would choose out of 
the unoccupied woods a desirable spot, with his 
tomahawk hack off a chip from the corner trees 
of his claim, and thus, without any of the formal 
processes by which properties customarily fall into 



THE METHODIST. 193 

ownership, would take possession and proceed to 
business. This novel style of indenture answered 
every purpose, and was respected, between neigh 
bor and neighbor, as inviolably as though executed 
in parchment and sanctioned by affixture of wax 
and seal, after the more legitimate fashion. First 
having gave first right, a right which, if possibly 
any may have lacked the conscience, certainly 
none had the hardihood to dispute. As the people 
multiplied, and customs more in accordance with 
civilized practice began to prevail, they were sub 
mitted to as unavoidable necessities of the new 
situation ; but in no case were they allowed to the 
interference with ownerships, whether in properties 
or privileges, acquired under the former usages. 
The compass and the chain might mark out the 
boundaries of new claims, but never cross the lines 
already defined by the tomahawk. A title with a 
deed was good, certainly, but equally so was one 
without it, probably better, as there was plausible 
argument to offer, in time, when so many were 
defrauded through the double-dealing of the land- 
trader. 

So with regard to the civil regulations of the 
day. The borderer, although content to be a 
nomos unto himself, was not averse to the intro 
duction of " professional" law, and was content to 
abide by its decrees ; provided, always, that they 
were in accordance with his own individual notions 
of justice. He would not divest himself of the 



1 94 BLA CK-R OSES. 

right to hang a highwayman or a horse-thief on 
the nearest tree, in order that punishment (with 
the intervening possibility of a flaw in the writ 
or the jail, to favor an escape) might be brought 
about, more formally, through the verdict of a jury 
and the sentence of a court. Neither would he 
brook interference if, when wronged by the savage, 
he chose, at his own time and in his own way, to 
recover full satisfaction for the injury; and Mingo 
and Delaware could well attest how severe was the 
wrath of the Long-Knife, as by way of distinction 
1 the Virginian was called, and how terrible his 
revenge, when recompense was due for provoca 
tion. 

With the Ohio Company it was part of their 
scheme of colonization to send out with the emi 
grants men qualified to discharge the various min 
istries of responsibility in the settlement. Marietta 
was to be kept under guardianship until she be 
came of age. For the management of her schools 
teachers were provided. She had a superintendent 
to regulate her public affairs. Magistrates were 
appointed to administer justice ; physicians to wait 
upon the sick ; while to look after her spiritual in 
terests the services were engaged of the Rev. Daniel 
Story, the "first regularly ordained Congregational 
minister" in the Northwest Territory (1788). 

The Virginians, on the other hand, could not 
indeed, did not care to look for men to fill their 
offices. As a want was felt and an opening for 



THE METHODIST. 



195 



supply advertised itself, the candidate for the posi 
tion, one of themselves, and not from solicitation, but 
on his own motion and at his own venture, put in an 
appearance. The country was not exempt from dis 
eases. The Esculapian aspirant saw that infirmities 
might be put to profit; noticed symptoms; made 
himself acquainted with the remedies in vogue 
among Indians and old women; gathered in supplies 
of pink-root, sarsaparilla, ginseng, jalap, and ipecac ; 
offered his services, and medicine became a profes 
sion. Education was not in eminent favor along 
the frontier. Boone, and Stewart, and Finley, and 
Hoi den were not remembered as having been 
patrons of learning ; and if they, the illustrious in 
border history, were content to dispense with let 
ters, might not their successors be satisfied ? But 
there began to be those of more liberal views, 
who were not disinclined to admit the advantages 
of instruction : the Master was found to take ad 
vantage of the concession, and schools were started, 
backed by sufficient support to keep them in living 
condition for two or three months, in the winter 
time, out of the twelve. 

People who have once enjoyed the opportunities 
of Christian worship are seldom entirely weaned 
from their attachment to its observances. The 
dwellers on the frontier, partly through choice, 
but mainly from necessity, may have neglected the 
duties to which they had formerly been accustomed, 
but their respect for the word, its ordinances, and its 



1 96 BLA CK-R OBES. 

ministers, had never failed. The pioneer may have 
left his Bible back among the forsaken properties 
of home, but the lessons gathered from its pages 
were not forgotten. As the floating elements of 
which it was composed settled down, and society 
began to assume orderly shape, the church was 
felt to be a prime desideratum. But how was its 
establishment to be brought about? Domestic 
missionary societies were not in existence. La 
borers, except of unevangelical order, would not 
volunteer without hire ; and silver and gold had 
they none to offer. As in the case of the other 
professions, if they were to be served they must 
serve themselves. Out of their own Galilee must 
arise their own prophets. There were men among 
them willing for the office; but to be fitted for it, 
according to orthodox rule, would require years of 
preparatory training in schools far removed and 
difficult of access. 

But a new order of the priesthood had lately 
arisen. Rev. John Wesley, of the Church of Eng 
land, impressed with the conviction that he was 
divinely appointed for some extraordinary work, 
carried his enthusiasm so far as to run into certain 
irregularities, on account of which he was debarred 
the privilege of the pulpit. Not to be silenced, he 
invited hearers, and in the open air at Moorfields 
addressed the multitude. So great was the success 
of the experiment that he was induced to persevere 
in it, making frequent journeys abroad through the 



THE METHODIST. 



197 



country, and preaching daily in the streets, fields, 
and cemeteries, before large and admiring assem 
blies. Although he himself maintained to the end 
his connection with the Episcopal Church, his 
labors resulted in the establishment of a separate 
ecclesiastical organization, which spread rapidly at 
home, and in due time extended beyond the ocean. 
To look after the spiritual interests of the classes 
which were formed in different localities, "leaders" 
were appointed from among the laity, who were 
authorized to exercise all the ordinary functions of 
the preacher. A "call" to that post, without re 
gard to intellectual fitness, was the single qualifica 
tion required. It was the style of institution that 
suited the wants of the frontier precisely. The 
young forester, abandoning his axe and rifle at the 
cabin door as the disciples their nets by the sea, 
took up his easy license and started abroad, the 
duly commissioned standard-bearer of the Faith. 
Its solitary places awakened at the sound of his 
voice crying in the wilderness. His labors pros 
pered, his circuits widened, and soon, throughout 
the length and the breadth of the land, the Meth 
odist was known, famously and familiarly, as, par 
eminence, the Minister of the West, the Black- 
Rob oft! e Border. 



198 BLACK-ROBES. 



II. 



THE ARREST, AWAKENING, CONVICTION, CONVERSION, 
AND THE CALL OF THE PREACHER. 

A GLANCE at his earlier life, his adventures, 
and his experiences, will be appropriate as 
serving to illustrate the character of the Methodist 
preacher of the border. Abundant facilities for 
this purpose' are offered in the autobiographies 
which he has contributed for the popular edifica 
tion and entertainment. Their details present him 
in the various circumstances and vicissitudes of his 
career : as a thoughtless worldling, weoMed to un 
hallowed pursuits and amusements ; as a volup 
tuary, tempted and fallen into sin ; as an alarmed 
offender led to penitence; and as the humbled 
creature of conviction made the hopeful subject 
of conversion. The portrayal is thorough and 
complete. 

He is generally born of poor but respectable 
parents. More or less religious influence has 
been brought to bear upon him in his childhood ; 
usually although his father has not always 
proved delinquent through the instrumentality of 
his mother ; herself an old Virginia Presbyterian 
most likely, unless, under the eloquence of White- 
field, made a convert to the creed of the Moor- 



THE METHODIST. 199 

fields Reformer. His Christian education, like his 
secular, however, has been, at best, a limited one, 
not often extending beyond a knowledge of the 
Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and a 
lesson or two out of the Mother's Catechism. Yet 
is he not unaccustomed to the forms of religious 
observance. He has seen church service, has knelt 
at evening worship in the family, and been used to 
the "Now I lay me down to sleep" of his own 
private devotions. Thus far experience has gone; 
giving its dash of color to his life, its faint outline 
of impression to his character, to die out utterly, 
or attain a ripe finish of shape and complexion, 
as future contingencies may determine, thus far, 
and no farther. 

In his youth we find him, if not born on Western 
soil, drifted thither with the tide of emigration, one 
of a still unbroken household group, gone in quest 
of better faring to the border. The old home-altar 
is re-established, and its ceremonies attempted 
anew, but the experiment staggers ; with the 
public administration of the ordinances neglected, 
example decays at the fireside; the zeal of the 
votary languishes, and anon the form even of 
the simple domestic ritual drops into desuetude. 
The reins of discipline relax ; the disembarrassed 
boy, eager to profit by the release, throws himself 
with entire abandonment, like an impatient hound 
freed from his leash, or a colt from its tether, into 
whatever scheme of pleasure first offers or best 



200 BLA CK- ROBES. 

attracts. He has an ear for music, an eye for 
motion; a fiddle and a ball-room, the "Arkansas 
Traveler" and a Virginia hoe-down, are irresisti 
ble allurements. He hears, sees, engages a 
partner for the next set, and the text of the Ten 
Commandments begins to fade ; when he most 
needs to remember, he first forgets his " Lead us 
not into temptation." Or he has a taste for play, 
enters the card-room, soon learns to hold his 
hand, and pockets his hazards, too ; has his steady 
hours at the table, and is presently the devoted 
servant of seven-up, old sledge, and poker. Or the 
easily besetting sin of the love of horse-flesh over 
reaches him, and he takes to the race-course, backs 
his charger, leaps to the contest, and over a broader 
way and with other goal and guerdon ahead than 
he entered for, rides to win and to lose. Fairly 
enlisted in the devil's service, his progress does not 
halt. He scoffs at morality ; he swears; he drinks; 
he frolics ; he fights, and is soon proficient in all 
the gentlemanly vices of the backwoods. 

It is entertaining to notice with what a flavor of 
fondness the reverend autobiographer looks back 
from his later lenten standpoint and lingers over 
this wild, licentious carnival-period in his life ! how 
his appetite seems to whet; and his chaps to melt, 
at the mere recollection of the savory flesh-pots of 
the demoralized, discarded, dear old Egypt ! Nor 
is he, indeed, ever entirely liberated from the 
tyranny of the passions to which he then sue- 



THE METHODIST. 2 OI 

cumbed. Jacob Young, the reverend, had always 
a fancier's eye for a steed, and boasts of the fine 
Arabian horse on which he threaded the morasses 
and swam the streams in his circuit-ridings. His 
original relish for the ring which Peter the Sinner 
had cultivated was not totally lost to Peter the 
Saint, in Cartwright's conversion; and the gusto is 
eminently professional with which he tells, through 
all the particulars, of a personal rencounter with a 
certain disturber of the peace at a camp-meeting, 
in which, after a solid round or two, he came off 
victorious ; and how, on another occasion, he took 
an attitude and pluckily called out, " Don't you 
attempt to strike me," to a certain Major L., who 
had " clinched his fists" with that ostensible pur 
pose in view, " for if you do, and the devil gets out 
of you into me, I shall give you the worst whip 
ping you ever got in all your life." 

But the carnal diversions of society by free in 
dulgence lose, at length, their attraction, and then 
the satiate profligate, perhaps, takes a fancy, like 
Finley, for roving, straps his blanket on his back, 
shoulders his rifle, and is off for the woods. The 
life has its trials, but is one of ever-varying adven 
ture, the excitements of which afford abundant 
recompense for whatever of danger or discomfort 
may attend its pursuit. It is not necessarily a 
wicked one. To shoot a bear, and make a break 
fast next morning on the rare delicacy of his paw, 
baked slowly overnight in the hot ashes of the 



202 BLA CK-R OBES. 

camp-fire ; to bag a wild turkey and dine upon it 
at mid-day; or to dispatch, by good luck, a buffalo 
and partake of his tongue with one's tea (whatever 
the decoction may be) in the evening ; to bring 
down a raccoon or a wild-cat, and, in a strait, make 
a meal upon either, when roasts that might be 
preferable are not procurable; or to make merchan 
dise of the hides and furs of all of them, ought 
scarcely to occasion pangs of remorse, and, indeed, 
do not ; but the Sabbath has been desecrated, the 
crack of the rifle has disturbed its hallowed rest, 
and the inheritance of a guilty, self-accusing con 
science, which shall find a discovery one day, is 
entailed upon the profaner. 

As poison is administered to purge from poison, 
so the very excess of indulgence often leads to the 
correction of the habit. The sports to which the 
young devotee is addicted have found him, season 
in and season out, a faithful patron. The appointed 
time has always seen him at the appointed place. 
He has sustained his part well, taken to it heartily, 
enjoyed it lustily, and left it at last without a feel 
ing of disquietude, unless it might be one of regret 
that the hours of delight should have proved so 
evanescent. And yet once, in the order of Provi 
dence, it happens, after a run of luck high in his 
favor at the card-table, perhaps, or at the close of 
a more than ordinarily brilliant scene of festivity, as 
on his favorite racer he rides towards home in the 
night, he is suddenly arrested on the way by the 



THE METHODIST. 



203 



miraculous shining of a great light, such as chal 
lenged the awe of Saul of Tarsus on his way to 
Damascus. The sight staggers him. He begins 
to reflect. He feels guilty and condemned. Of a 
sudden the blood rushes to his head. His heart 
palpitates. In a few minutes he turns blind. An 
awful impression rests on his mind that death has 
come, and that he is unprepared to die, when much 
alarmed he lifts his voice to heaven and asks God to 
have mercy on him. Reaching home, he retires to 
bed, but finds little rest, and rises in the morning 
feeling wretched beyond expression. He tries to 
read the. Testament, requests his father to sell his 
race-horse for him, and hands over his pack of 
cards to his mother, who throws them into the fire. 
It is the dawn of a new and momentous era in 
his life. Conviction has overtaken him. Like an 
attack of the bowel-complaint or the measles, and 
with symptoms as clearly marked through the 
various stages of progress, it lays hold of him, 
vexes him, and brings him down. He complains 
of broken sleep ; of a fevered, irregular pulse ; loss 
of appetite ; dismal apprehensions ; ghastly visions 
and nightmares. To shake ofF the disease he re 
sorts to remedies, the accustomed ones, first, of a 
glass of whisky, or a turn on the turf, or a set-to 
at seven-up. These only aggravate the trouble, 
and are dismissed for other and better expedients. 
Retiring to a solitary grove, he spends hours in 
meditation, moaning like a dove that has lost his 



204 BLACK-ROBES. 

mate, and crying like the crane in the desert ; but 
his distress does not abate. Returning to society 
again, a sympathizing sister, likely, suggests sing 
ing and prayer, which, when had, afford some re 
lief. An effect of this treatment is weeping, and a 
plentiful flow of tears is comforting. Dreams are 
found to be refreshing ; active exercise in the open 
air serves a good purpose, and repeating the nar 
rative of his experience in the presence of atten 
tive listeners at the prayer-meeting is peculiarly 
soothing. 

At length, after a longer or shorter siege of trial, 
his griefs suddenly disappear. A flash of light, 
"shining from the south part of heaven," gleams in 
upon his soul : he is translated into the kingdom, 
born into a new sphere of glorious existence, 
and finds peace ecstatic peace in believing. As 
he imagines ; but prematurely, as it turns out, for 
anon he discovers that the deliverance upon which 
he has congratulated himself is a delusion, the 
translation a mistake, -the new birth a miscarriage. 
A lapse from grace, either to magnify the virtue, 
or to exemplify a dogma, would seem to be an ab 
solute necessity as a precedent to its perfect attain 
ment ; and he lapses. Still, though fallen, he is 
not lost. 

A second awakening takes place, attended by 
similar phenomena with the first, and working 
towards the same salutary end ; but the progress 
is blocked by serious obstacles which were not 



THE METHODIST. 2O$ 

encountered before. Then, oppressed with a sense 
of sinfulness, and anxious only on the score of for 
giveness, he had addressed himself accordingly; 
content to implore, " God be merciful to me, a 
sinner !" and satisfied, as the ground of his hope in 
Jesus, with a faith whose only and all-sufficient 
article was the unwritten one inexpressible, but 
fathomable easily and infallible of the poor 
woman of Capernaum, a lifted finger, and a touch 
of the hem of his garment. But his theological 
studies for he has read, since conviction, the 
New Testament to some extent have made him 
an "inquirer" in a new sense. Now, he cannot 
accept grace unless he understands precisely how 
he gets it, on what terms, at whose cost, and 
whether he holds it inalienably, or at the option, 
liable to be revoked, of the donor. He hesitates 
to reach at the purifying garment until he masters 
the mystery of its manufacture; how it is woven, 
after what pattern, and of what thread, particularly 
the hem of it. The church (as comprehended in 
his notion of that institution) has become his 
object of interest instead of Christ. He must find 
a way to follow the Way already provided. To 
win the crown he must run the gauntlet of the 
creeds. Of Presbyterian parentage, quite likely, he 
has naturally a preference for that persuasion. " If 
I could only convince myself that Calvinism is 
true," he says, "I would be satisfied." But he 
trips at the horrid idea of the doctrine of Particular 
18 



206 BLA CK-R OSES. 

Election and Reprobation, and stumbles against 
numerous other heresies, until finally he sees, " as 
clearly as that two and two make four, that if the 
Bible is true the Old Confession is false." The 
converse of the proposition holds good, of course ; 
and, as he does not care yet to relinquish the 
Bible, further passage by the Westminster route is 
given up, and search made for another. He is 
attracted by the New Lights ; but " when he hears 
their doctrine on the Supreme Divinity of Jesus 
Christ, he will not go with them," impressed as he 
is "with a clear and powerful demonstration of the 
truth, that if Christ is not God He is powerless to 
save." He tries the Shaking Quakers ; but their 
worship is so ridiculous that the bare thought of 
following up on that line is preposterous. The 
Seceders invite attention ; but the professors of 
that school are too scandalously immoral, being 
addicted to intoxication, and having scarcely the 
form of godliness about them. Communion with 
such a circle is out of the question. Then he tries 
to carve out a way of his own, along which to travel 
to heaven alone ; but, as one astray in the wilder 
ness, without star or compass to guide him, is apt 
to wander back circuitously to his starting-point, 
he shortly~finds himself bringing up at the old 
booth on the race-course, and that scheme is 
abandoned. 

At this juncture it so happens that a challenge 
salutes the inquirer from a new quarter entirely. 



THE METHODIST. 2O/ 

Wesleyanism, surely established now in the East, 
has reached the West. Brother Hickman, on a 
tour of observation (1776), and Lewis Lunford, the 
Patrick Henry of the pulpit (1779), first of their 
sect to penetrate the wilderness, are assembling 
the backwoodsmen in the cabins, barns, or open 
woods, and addressing them with an eloquence 
which is irresistible and convincing. He joins the 
throng in attendance at their meetings, hears, is 
enraptured, and exults at the thought that at last 
he has hit upon the manifest highway to glory. 
He first appears at these assemblages, which are 
kept up daily, and is thoroughly awakened, per 
haps on a Monday. On Tuesday he is brought 
under profound conviction, and is so distressingly 
affected that when he flees to the woods for relief 
" he does not dare to take his gun with him, for 
fear he should, in the hour of the power of dark 
ness, commit suicide." The dawn of Wednesday 
finds him praying and wrestling, which exercise, 
with fasting and humiliation, is maintained through 
the day and all the night following. On Thursday 
he is about to resume his devotions, when sud 
denly, at say twenty-two minutes before six in 
the morning, " the light pours upon him in such 
a manner, and in such a measure," that he falls to 
the earth, shouting and praising God, so as to be 
heard over the neighborhood, and is converted. 
He has entered the second time into the womb, and 
is born again. 



208 BLACK-ROBES. 

In the working out of the reformatory process 
which the " seeker " undergoes, each new phase of 
development is signalized by its attending super 
natural manifestation. God specially interposes 
and is present in every act of his grace, not spirit 
ually and metaphorically, but really and sensibly ; 
as does, and is also, on the other hand, the Prince 
of Darkness, when alarmed for his interests at the 
detected disloyalty of a subject. At his awakening, 
sudden blindness (each step in the proceeding is 
always noted as "sudden," "instant," "like an 
electric flash ") seizes the sinner. Under convic 
tion, he hears a voice speaking out of heaven in 
syllables of censure or of admonition, and quotes 
its utterance ; or a celestial messenger visits and 
counsels him in vision, while he sleeps; or the 
devil meets him in a cavern in the woods, whither 
he has retired to pray, in such unquestionable 
guise, and with so unmistakable an intent " to seize 
and drag him down to hell, soul and body," that he 
starts to his feet affrighted, takes to his heels, and 
runs, full speed, to his mother, knitting at home 
in her cabin, for protection. Conversion comes, 
attended with a literal display of light ineffable and 
full of glory : the subject of it distinctly hears a 
voice announce, "Thy sins are all forgiven thee !" 
gives attention with ear and eye, and really wit 
nesses the mountains and the hills break forth into 
singing, and all the trees of the fields clap their 
hands, in irrepressible ecstasy at the event. 



THE METHODIST. 209 

After conversion comes the Call. The "convict" 
spends an hour following the crisis of his rescue, 
in a delirium of rapture, catching, peradventure, 
his wife in his arms, running round the house, and 
shouting, "Salvation ! salvation!" so that his neigh 
bors think him drunk or crazy. While thus exer 
cised, a voice falls " like a falling star" from heaven, 
saying, " Go, preach my gospel !" upon which he 
immediately responds, "Yes, Lord, if thou wilt go 
with me." Forthwith, not tarrying to confer with 
flesh and blood, but hurrying out as fast as he can to 
the nearest cabin, he calls its inmates together and 
begins to proclaim a risen Saviour who has power 
on earth to forgive sins. Or perchance he may 
hesitate at the divinely indicated line of duty ; he 
may, with modest emphasis, deny his fitness for the 
priestly office, may withdraw to the woods and tell 
his Maker that if it is pressed to the alternative that 
he must preach the gospel or go to. hell, he must go 
to hell, for he has not the least qualification for the 
work. As results of this resistance to the designs of 
Providence, he loses all comfort, becomes gloomy^ 
and despondent, and from a state of robust health 
is reduced almost to a walking skeleton. But the 
invisible, mighty pressure continues. There is no 
mistaking, nor indeed any thought of questioning, 
its source. At length he ceases to oppose, with 
becoming humility acquiesces in the appointment, 
puts on the harness, and, to his speedy convales 
cence, and the healthy restoration of his dwindled 
18* 



2 1 o BLA CK-R OBES. 

flesh and depressed spirits, enters the lists and takes 
the field. Saul of Tarsus at sunrise is Paul the 
Apostle at noon, and appoints to meet and address 
his impenitent friends at Mars' Hill by early candle 
light in the evening. 



III. 

THE PREACHER IN THE PULPIT. 

THE idea of "preparation" for the ministry was 
one that never found favor for a moment in the 
Methodist mind. Learning was regarded as not 
only unnecessary, but actually objectionable, in the 
Black-Robe; who was. presumed to be chosen of 
God as his officer, either by act of foreordination, 
opposed though such a view was to a favorite de 
nominational tenet, or by special election, just as he 
was ; and for whom, in such a case, to try to improve 
upon his qualifications, would be to doubt the wis 
dom and defeat an evident design of the Almighty. 
The blind, notwithstanding the proverb, were the 
true leaders of the blind. Rev. Jacob Young, at one 
time, thought to try the experiment of a literary, 
scientific, and theological course, but soon found 
that it would not work. God, in token of disap 
proval, hid his countenance from him; the Bible 
became a sealed book; he lost his comfort, was 



THE METHODIST. 211 

attacked with a violent fever, and severe pain in his 
head, and only got well when he abandoned letters 
and fell back on inspiration. One of his cotempora- 
ries testifies that he would rather have the gift of a 
devil-dislodging power than all the college lore or 
biblical-institute knowledge that could be obtained 
from mortal man ; and gives it as his opinion that 
the best course of preparation for the pulpit is to 
take your sinner, shake him awhile over hell, then 
knock the scales from his eyes, and, without any 
previous theological training, send him out straight 
way to preach Jesus and the Resurrection. A 
writer, while he records it, boasts of the fact that, 
among the thousands of traveling and local preach 
ers in his church, there were not more than fifty 
that had anything more than a common English 
education, and scores of them not that ; and that 
not one of them was ever trained in a theological 
school, yet hundreds of them had more seals to 
their ministry than all the sapient, downy D.D.'s 
in modern times, presiding in the various institu 
tions throughout the land. These plainly-spoken 
views were not entertained by the commoners 
merely of the profession, but had the concurrence 
of the chief dignitaries as well, Bishop Asbury 
among the rest. 

The study of men was recommended as the solely 
profitable one ; that of books, condemned as super 
fluous. Christ had no literary college or university, 
no theological school or biblical institute, to train 



212 BLACK-ROBES. 

his disciples in. On the contrary, He showed his 
contempt for all such establishments by selecting 
his followers from the lowest and least-enlightened 
classes of society. True, the Black-Robe of the 
better-informed minority, as we have seen, was not 
utterly and absolutely unskilled in letters. With 
the print in clear, round type, under a favorable 
light, and with careful attention, having previously 
conned the lesson, he could read a chapter tolerably 
intelligibly from the New Testament, or the lines of 
a stanza from the hymn-book. As a somewhat com 
mon, although not invariable, rule, he could also 
write. On one recorded occasion he was requested 
by a lady, under whose roof he was tarrying for a 
night, while on the tour of his circuit, to act as her 
amanuensis in a trifling matter of correspondence. 
Blushingly, and with unfeigned diffidence, he as 
sumed the task, and it is with a pardonable air of 
proud satisfaction that he relates to the narrator 
of the incident the success rather, it would seem, 
to the surprise of both parties attending the ex 
periment. The Presbyterian preacher who had 
served the apprenticeship required by the school 
to which he belonged, who was manufactured 
like a head of lettuce in a hot-house, and who was 
wont to sermonize from manuscripts, was an object 
of mingled pity and disdain. His messages, like 
cold meats, carved no matter how neatly, were 
stale, flat, and unpalatable, which the border sinner 
might taste once in awhile, perhaps, but, used 



THE METHODIST. 213 

to hot and savory indulgences, could never be 
tempted to accept as a standing diet. The Method 
ist would set the world on fire while the Presby 
terian formal, precise, and measured as to his 
deliveries was lighting his matches. 

Sir Geoffrey Hudson could wield a sword and 
join as valiantly as Prince Rupert in a sally against 
the train-bands of London, and with as full a 
trust in the efficiency of the blade he flourished, 
although there were but twenty inches of him, all 
told, to show in comparison with the full stature 
of his illustrious fellow-martialist. The Methodist 
Black-Robe was not of inferior virtue to the pygmy 
knight in one striking particular at least. Re 
posing a confidence in his own power of achieve 
ment that was never shaken by disaster, he not only 
felt himself the peer of any ecclesiastical Rupert, 
the princeliest that ever handled spiritual iron, but 
would volunteer a charge, unsupported and alone, 
against all the- train-bands of Christendom com 
bined. There was no question within the range 
of theological inquiry which he did not hold him 
self reaSy, at a moment's notice, to solve to the 
entire satisfaction of any audience. He unolerstood 
all mysteries and all knowledge : points of doctrine, 
made the lifetime subjects of investigation by less 
enlightened students of the word, and perhaps not 
clearly settled then, he was ready to pronounce 
upon off-hand, and with an air of decision that 
would have done credit to an Ecumenical Council. 



2i 4 BLACK-ROBES. 

It was difficult, if not impossible, to match him at 
a controversy. He could settle the business of a 
Calvinistic professor on the subject of Election, 
handsomely and conclusively, at a single tilt, and 
within the space of two minutes. " A few ques 
tions," says Finley, "would invariably silence him." 
The Baptist he found rather a tough customer, but 
in ordinary cases he could floor his antagonist of 
that cloth in half a dozen rounds at furthest. He 
could ring the changes on Bapto with a facility that 
was marvelous in the ears of the multitude, who 
were not always aware of the extent of his acquire 
ments, and who did not know that from his one 
acquaintance with the original texts in both cases 
he might, with the same skill precisely, have gone 
into the discussion of a disputed hieroglyph on an 
Egyptian obelisk. 

In the matter of pronunciation he was somewhat 
irregular, not conforming exactly to the rules in 
request among acknowledged authorities. His 
accents, dropped pretty much at random, were apt 
to fall where they were not designed to fit; his 
vowels were not invariably true to their" colors ; 
not a few of the consonants used to double duty 
would strike out in one capacity when they should 
have served in another ; while syllables, especially 
the inferior ones of the heavier combinations, were 
sadly slighted, and, indeed, sometimes ignored 
altogether. Words were liable to similar discour 
tesy, being frequently introduced, under perverted 



THE METHODIST. 215 

names, into strange company, and made not only 
to suffer themselves, on the suspicion of false 
pretense, by the association, but now and then to 
implicate their new neighbors as conniving at the 
imposition. As for language, his vocabulary was 
not very extensive, but its resources were suffi 
ciently abundant for his purpose. What he knew, 
he knew all the more intimately for not knowing 
more. The telling, trenchant, hell-fire-and-damna- 
tion dialect of the turf, the bar, and the ball-room 
he had carried over with him in his "brimstone 
wallet," as he facetiously terms it, at his conver 
sion, and since kept in readiness to shake over the 
heads of insulting and profane sinners among his 
hearers. 

In the pulpit the Methodist Black-Robe was in 
his element. The unembarrassed step with which 
he mounted the platform ; his seemingly half-uncon 
sciousness of the act, as with a glance of customary 
so he would have it appear rather than curious 
observation he lifted his eyes and swept the space 
filled by his hearers, as a chess-player does his board, 
ere the game quite opens, to see that the pieces are 
complete and properly adjusted in their places ; the 
showy carelessness with which he extracted his 
folios from his person it was his boast that he 
carried all his library, Testament, hymn-book, and 
" Discipline" composing the catalogue, in his 
pocket and laid them down, with much delibera 
tion, volume by volume, on the desk; and the 



2 1 6 BLA CK-R OBES. 

gratifying complacency with which, flourishing 
his handkerchief, he proceeded to clear his throat, 
and his nose, violently, of such imaginary or real 
obstruction to clear speech as might lodge, or be 
supposed to lodge, in either, all were admirably 
calculated, and intended, as so many advertise 
ments to the people that, in the speaker about to 
address them, they beheld the right man in the 
right place, and no mistake, one who was per 
fectly at home in it, and thorough master of the 
situation. 

His sermons were originals ; not borrowed or 
copied from the standard styles of the time, but 
fashioned after a pattern peculiarly their own. In 
their composition he did not allow himself to be 
hampered by the restrictions ordinarily regarded as 
indispensable to excellence in the art. He did not 
adhere with undeviating fidelity to the straight 
forward pursuit of an argument, preferring to 
loiter by the way, as attractive fancies now and 
again sprang in his path to invite to dalliance ; 
or, tempted by a suggestion, butterfly-like darted 
up to divert him, to follow the lure in its excur 
sive flight, to the relinquishment of the line of his 
main purpose altogether. His texts or mottoes, 
to speak more accurately, because they rather in 
dicated than really formed his subjects of decla 
mation were selections from the Scriptures of 
such passages or phrases as might be introduced 
with effect to swell a sentence or round a period, 



THE METHODIST. 2 1/ 

which, with wonderful facility, he could contrive 
to do, let the tone of the topic vary as it might, 
"for he played on a harp of a thousand strings /" 
His treatment of a subject varied according to 
the circumstances attending its delivery. The 
several styles from which he had to choose were 
" the argumentative, the dogmatic, the postidary, 
the persuasive, the punitive, the combative,, the 
logical, and the poetic." As affording a broader 
field for the exercise of his talents, and as, indeed, 
capable, in his hands, of embodying all the effective 
force without the heaviness of the others, the 
" poetic" stood in chief favor. The preliminary 
details of his discourses were managed with a tone 
and action remarkable for moderation, and the 
steady, stately tenor of their rendering. Here it 
was he exhibited himself in his more solid, "argu 
mentative " mood ; seizing the occasion, as the 
most opportune, for a specimen-display of his 
qualities in reserve, and to furnish a hint of the 
wind and bottom to be depended upon when, pres 
ently, both should be put to the trial. So, on the 
turf in his sporting-days, he may have walked his 
courser round and about the starting-post, to show 
his parts, set forth his points, and prove his train 
ing, before the eyes of admiring beholders, ere 
opening upon the proper career, where the glory 
came in, for which he was entered. But no sooner 
was this ceremony ended and the moment for 
" business " arrived, than a striking change became 
19 



2 1 8 BLA CK-R OBES. 

apparent. The face of the orator flushed, his eye 
brightened like the eyelids of the morning, the 
sonorous voice for which he was famous let out 
its power, and " his gestures grew animated as the 
waftures of a fiery torch." Poetry, madly broke 
loose, took to wild flight, and, cleaving space, went 
whirling through the distances without regard to 
laws of limitation: ascending up to heaven, de 
scending into hell, taking the wings of the morning 
and speeding to the uttermost parts of the sea; 
plucking bright honors from the moon, sun, stars, 
weaving to itself garlands from the lightning's 
wings, toying with tempests, and grasping infernal 
thunder, black fire, and horror from the nether 
abysses. 

This particular style, however, was not sus 
tained uninterruptedly through the performance, 
but was relieved at appropriate intervals by such in 
tercalary passages of pleasantry, sarcasm, ridicule, 
or rebuke, as ordinarily, having a direct personal 
application, could not fail to elicit interest and 
keep wide awake the attention of an audience. 
Some indiscreet or disorderly sinner would violate 
a custom, or otherwise offend against decorum, 
during service. The preacher, perhaps in the 
midst of one of his sublimest soarings, would 
pause, point a lifted finger at the offender, whose 
misdemeanor may have been, suppose, that he 
had appropriated accommodation to himself, and 
made a conspicuous show of it, among the females 



THE METHODIST. 219 

on their exclusive side of the house, let his voice 
drop from its strained pitch in alt, to the deep bari 
tone level most effective for conveyance of reproof, 
and, after stating in measured terms his charge, to 
identify the culprit beyond mistake, would say, 
" I mean that young man there, standing on the 
seats of the ladies, with a ruffled shirt on, and I 
doubt not that the ruffled shirt was borrowed." 
In such-like quaint and pleasing episodes the 
orator could indulge at his pleasure, and with 
none the less freedom, that under protection of 
his cloth he knew he was safely sheltered against 
retaliation. And yet it sometimes happened, as 
with the Rev. C. in the instance quoted, that the 
party denounced would kick against the grievance. 
With a respect for propriety which the clerical 
brother might have imitated to advantage, the 
ruffled shirt waited until the congregation was dis 
missed, and then quietly informed the divine that 
he proposed to whip him. C. accepted the chal 
lenge, suggesting that they should retire to the 
woods " to fight it out." A fence lay in their 
way; jumping over it, C. sprained his ankle, and 
put his hand to his side. " Damn you," said he 
of the ruffles, suspicious of concealed weapons, 
" you're feeling for a dirk, are you ?" " Yes," re 
plied the reverend, which was not strictly true, and 
indeed, although C., in the narration, would make 
it appear as an innocent bit of facetiousness, in the 
fact was manifestly intended to deceive and intimi- 



220 BLACK-ROBES. 

date, " yes, and I will give you the benefit of all 
I have," charging at once on the enemy's works 
as he said it. The ruffled shirt, unarmed as he was, 
made a leap and put the fence between himself and 
his opponent. A party of "rowdies," friends and 
backers of the priestly pugilist, joined in; the 
offender was surrounded, bound with hickory-bark 
to a pole, taken to a pond not far from the camp 
ground, and " ducked nearly to death." Mr. C, 
meanwhile, stood by and consented, like Paul on 
a somewhat similar occasion, although that was 
before the apostle's conversion. He refers to the 
whole transaction as one of a highly amusing 
character. 

Comprehensively, the wit of the preacher may 
be described as of that purely Shakspearean order 
which, in a different sphere, and more recently, has 
given his classical reputation to a conspicuous 
fancier of the immortal text, and who stands con 
nected, in the popular mind, with associations of 
the tented arena, motley tights and tan-bark. In 
this connection, by the way, and as a coincidence 
perhaps deserving notice, a characteristic fact is 
on record, which, as it has been made, personally, 
matter of special parade, each in his own ring, by 
both circuit- and circus-rider, should be mentioned; 
namely, that while one, as a strong feature for his 
bills, has made a boast of his "one-horse show," 
so has the other, with an equal flourish on the 
autobiographical page, of his " one-man congre- 



THE METHODIST. 221 

gation." Scrupulous moralists and men of fas 
tidious taste might take exception, now and then, 
to the sayings of such Christian orators as the 
" Pulpit-Thumper," the " Bull-Dog," the " New 
Market Devil," and the "Sinai Thunderer" in 
their humorous moods, when " Mather in his best 
comedy" and "Sheridan in his funniest farce" 
showed not 'half their mirth-provoking power, 
and yet why should they, when prime ministers 
of the communion, grave and reverend annalists 
of the times, have not hesitated to excuse and 
to approve ? Under which canvas could it have 
been that Mr. Merryman called out, " Pray on, 
Brother Walker, and if he [an obstreperous inter- 
ferer] cuts up any capers, I'll down him and hold 
him till you're done, for the kingdom of heaven suf 
fer eth violence, and the violent take it by force" ? Is 
it hippodrome or house-of-God vernacularism that 
the performer employs when he exclaims, ''Watch 
and pray, friends ; don't let the devil get among you 
on the sly, before candle-light"? Which humorist 
was it that relates how on a certain occasion, in a 
dispute with one of his own cloth, he "blowed 
this proselyting, sheep-stealing preacher to Never, 
where another Baptist preacher that he once 
heard of, would have gone if he had jumped off" ? 
The prayer of the service was of like composi 
tion, both in matter and manner, with the sermon. 
It was entered upon calmly, and with some regard 
to order in the conception and delivery. The voice, 
19* 



222 BLACK-ROBES. 

keyed to a natural tone, syllabled itself articulately 
and deliberately, moving not unstatelily as to the 
Dorian mood of flutes and soft recorders ; while 
the action was just and in appropriate harmony 
with the speech. But, as the petitioner proceeded, 
the sober method soon, and by rapid develop 
ment, began to manifest symptoms of derangement. 
Accelerating in pace and strengthening in power, 
his utterance ran the ascending intervals of the 
scale, until the height was won and the intensity 
reached, beyond which the capacities of the organ, 
in spite of superhuman effort, could not attain. 
To sustain the lofty elevation imposed a hard strain 
upon his energies, but the ordeal was gallantly met, 
and pluckily endured, although the severity of the 
labor told with torturing effect upon the machinery 
of the man. The veins upon his neck and forehead 
stood out full and round, like cords ; great drops 
of sweat hung on his brow ; the red tinging his 
cheeks darkened to purple ; his lips grew livid ; 
the motion of his jaws churned the secretions of 
their engendering, and the foam as it accumulated 
oozed clammily out at the corners of his mouth, 
thence darting in spumy flecks away upon the cur 
rent of his breath over the heads of the people, or 
settling back, checked ever and anon by long- 
drawn inspirations sharply hissing through the 
half-closed teeth, into its proper reservoir. 

At such a pitch of soaring, while lungs and mus 
cles failed not, it was possible to keep sound and 



THE METHODIST. 



223 



fury afloat, but not with other ballast than the 
proverb allows them. The atmosphere was too 
thin for reason to breathe in. Up in a balloon, the 
scared sense lost its sanity and went a-raving. All 
was disorder, all confusion. Still, through the tur 
moil and the tangle, the busy tongue tripped on ; 
saying the more, more vehemently, the less it had 
to say ; quoting and misquoting scraps of Scrip 
ture ; addressing the Almighty by his most awful 
titles in rounds of endless repetition; vociferous 
with exclamations; full of strange oh's ; and all with 
such an accompaniment of yells, and shrieks, and 
groans, and " windy suspirations of forced breath," 
and clapping of hands, and shouts of glory, as, 
almost excusably, to tempt the uninitiated to 
suspect of the Deity appealed to, that " either 
He was talking, or He was pursuing, or He was 
in a journey, or peradventure He slept and must 
be awakened." 

For the few minutes customarily allotted to this 
exercise, and until near its close, the style intense 
was kept in play, all the while, with unflagging 
activity. Suddenly, then, as by some trick of 
magic, arrested in mid-career, it paused. The rigor 
and tension of the countenance relaxed; the veiny 
currents resumed their natural flow, the cheeks 
and lips their wonted color. The storm was over, 
ceased on the instant; and out of the great calm 
that ensued, fallen at a drop to the gentle tone and 
attunement of its opening, briefly the voice gave 



224 BLACK-ROBES. 

the rounding clause to its orison, and the prayer 
was ended. 

The singing of the service was, perhaps, its most 
attractive feature. The hymns before sermon were 
generally selections from the book, read out couplet 
by couplet, for the accommodation of the congre 
gation, among whom copies of the text, and not to 
put the case too pointedly spectacles, were much 
wanting. The preacher acted as his own clerk and 
chorister, choosing for his "tune" Dundee's wild, 
warbling strain, or plaintive Martyrs, or some other 
of the standard chants common to all the various 
denominations of the border. These compositions 
were of too staid a character to elicit that degree of 
enthusiasm to which the Methodist mind was par 
tial, but, nevertheless, were rendered with no little 
spirit. The voices all, male and female, sang in 
unison. Music had not risen to the dignity of a 
profession in the wilderness as yet, and it was not 
to be expected that its rules were to govern strictly 
in the performances. Time, as an element in the 
movement, was regulated by chance, and chance 
by the loudest pair of lungs. As Stentor led the 
way, the inferior organs followed, catching, by 
quick imitation, his style, and conforming to his 
paces with a remarkable felicity of adaptation. 

But the hymns of the people the characteristic 
ones which reached to the heart and provoked the 
liveliest response were those of native invention, 
not put down in the book, and therefore, vastly to 



THE METHODIST. 2 2$ 

the popular preference, not necessitating the ser 
vices of the prompter at the desk. The compo 
sition of these hymns was peculiar. They were 
characterized by extreme simplicity, not always 
accurate, by any means, in their rhythmical ar 
rangement, but perhaps for even faults will have 
their fascination borrowing a feature of attraction 
from that very fact. As to their probable origin, 
if, in the pursuit of his solitary route, the circuit- 
rider should at any time have had his attention 
arrested, while passing near some corn-field in a 
clearing, by a sound of voices singing, in plaintive 
remembrance of former times and scenes, to the 
play of hoes among the growing stalks, 

" Whar, oh, whar is my good ole fader, 
Whar, oh, whar is my good ole fader, 
Whar, oh, whar is my good ole fader? ' 
'Way down in de Car'lina State. 

By-an'-by we do hope to meet 'im, 
By-an'-by we do hope to meet Mm, 
By-an'-by we do hope to meet 'im, 
'Way down in de Car'lina State," 

nothing could be more natural than that, struck 
alike by the pleasing mood of the melody and the 
simple art of the stanzas, he should have thought 
of the fine adaptability of both, with certain easy 
and obvious modifications of sentiment in the latter, 
for devotional purposes. His next appointment 
sees the experiment made. It proves a success ; 
and the secular ditty, converted so as to read, 



226 BLA CK-R OBES. 

" Where, oh, where, now, is good old Isaac," or 
"Jacob," or " Elijah," or "the Hebrew Children," or 
any other saintly nominee, with the refrain spiritual 
ized into, " Away down in the Promised Land," 
has its new, gospel destiny, and will keep it, to 
animate the ardor and gladden the hearts of wor 
shipers, for many and many a year to come. 

Upon such terms of construction it was not diffi 
cult to frame verses. Melodies, as involving the 
exercise of invention, were the main want, a want, 
however, conveniently satisfied, when it was dis 
covered that a change of art was as possible as 
a change of heart, and that profane music could 
be brought under sanctifying influence as well as 
ungodly minds. Soon, therefore, this source of 
supply laid under contribution, quite a collection 
of airs was amassed ; sufficient to keep up the due 
proportion of praise through the closing devotional 
services, let the interest of the occasion protract 
them as it might. Of these melodies, some con 
tinue, not unworthily, to hold a place, even as yet, 
in the local popular favor. If discarded almost en 
tirely from the camp, for instance, that plaintive 
air is not <. forgotten thing of beauty in the cot 
tages that dot the scenes of its ancient popularity, 
which there are those who will readily recall in 
association with the lines, 

" There is rest for the weary, 

There is rest for the weary, 

There is rest for the weary, 

And we'll rest there too : 



THE METHODIST. 



227 



On the other side of Jordan, 
In the sweet fields of Eden, 
Where the tree of life is blooming, 
And we'll rest there too." 

Others there are which are almost lost, lingering 
only in the recollection of the few here and there 
of a fast-wasting generation who, as children, sat 
and in still wonder listened and learned, as, at the 
gatherings in the groves, their fathers and mothers 
sang them long ago, like this, caught one day, 
and made a note of, as it fell quaveringly from the 
lips not reluctant to gratify a curious hearer of 
one of their number: 



Ye sis-ters in the Lord, Come rise and go with me, And 




i*E??=r3 



leave this sin - ful world, And " all things be - low 

==i=gL^__ 



^ 



Come learn to watch and pray, As ye journey on the way, And you'll 



I I 



X k P -p f p 1 

BE =^=9= 3! 



soon climb the banks of Cal va ry. 

This hymn was particularly designed for the altar, 
or " Glory Pen," and could be continued ad libi- 



228 BLACK-ROBES. 

tit in by the simple substitution of "brothers," or 
"fathers," or "mothers," or what not, for "sisters" 
in the first line. While it was being sung, the custom 
was for the preachers and leaders to move freely 
about within the inclosure, exchanging greetings 
among themselves and shaking hands with the 
"mourners." 

The music, that is the own peculiar music of 
the Methodist, was always spirited. Sentiment was 
not fastidious as to its style of conveyance, save in 
this respect only, it never chose a slow coach. 
Grave or light, sombre or joyous, the airy-paced 
vehicle was the one for its burden. The " minor" 
airs in use to a limited extent, such as the one 
usually sung to "When I can read my title clear," 
with the accompanying chorus of " Oh, the Lamb, 
the loving Lamb, the Lamb of Calvary," etc., 
formed no exception to the rule. Expression de 
pended upon degrees of intensity the piano and 
the forte rather than upon variety in mode, for 
effect. The worshiping assembly was a great 
organ, as it were, many-piped, yet with but one 
stop, the swell besides, and the bellows. Never 
theless the instrument was capable of wonderful 
diversity in its emotional range and force. Who 
ever may have had the opportunity of hearing, 
long ago, the famous old revival hymn, will well 
remember with what a dread-inspiring power the 
opening verse (and others succeeding of like dole 
ful tenor) fell upon his ears: 



THE METHODIST. 229 

" Oh, there will be mourning, mourning, mourning, mourning, 
Oh, there will be mourning at the judgment-seat of Christ! 
Brothers and sisters there will part, [twice repeated,] 
Will part to meet no more !" 

and how sudden and complete, how thrilling 
and rapturous, the changed experience, as the 
chorus of voices, true still to time and tune, but 
bursting into a tone of vehement intensity like that 
which gives noise to the huzza, of an army at the 
moment of victory, rung to the significance of the 
closing stanza: 

"Oh, there will be shouting, shouting, shouting, shouting, 
Oh, there will be shouting at the judgment-seat of Christ! 
Saints and angels there will meet, [repeated as before,] 
Will meet to part no m re !" 

The closing refrain of one or another of the 
hymns of this class brought the worship to an end. 
The preacher arose in his place, lifted his hands, 
pronounced the benediction, and his duties were 
done. Soberly the people deserted their seats, and 
calmly, as though the storm through which they 
were just passed had never been, withdrew from 
the house and retired to their homes. 



20 



230 BLACK-ROBES. 

IV. 
IN THE SADDLE AND ON THE CIRCUIT. 



Methodist Black-Robe had his local fields 
X of labor, but the sphere more peculiarly pro 
fessional to him was of wider embrace, reaching 
in grand range over miles of territory, from station 
to station in which he journeyed, making his stages 
and his stoppages according to schedule previously 
timed, and completing the round in a month or 
months, to resume and pursue it over and over 
again as often as was practicable during the term 
of his appointment. The newer circuits those 
extending into the thinly populated districts of 
the remoter frontier, where the preacher ran the 
risk of passing a night once in awhile without the 
shelter of a roof constituted the " Missionary" 
ground of the church. Ample arrangements were 
made, in such a case, for the comfortable protection 
of the "itinerant" against the roughnesses and pri 
vations to which he might be exposed by the way. 
Besides the Arab steed for his own riding, of which 
he wa justly proud, he started out provided with 
a pack-horse to carry the few stores that were 
needed for his frugal sustenance, at such times as 
he might be compelled to camp it and do his own 
cooking on the route. These stores consisted of 



THE METHODIST. 231 

ground coffee, parched corn run through a mill 
and mixed with sugar, beef-tongues, cold meats, 
and sea-biscuits; a coffee-pot, britannia tumblers 
and spoons, steel knives, wooden forks, and, to 
complete the whole, a water-proof linen tent, large 
enough, if necessary, to accommodate nine men 
conveniently. But the missionary had counted 
the cost of his office before assuming its responsi 
bilities, so that, although he may have had reason 
to groan under crosses, to lament over hard lodg 
ing, and to complain of picnic provender, yet did 
he find grace sufficient to meet each tribulation as 
it came, and bravely to worry it through. 

Once he was under the necessity of spending a 
night in the log cabin of a backwoodsman on the 
far border. His experience on the occasion is cir 
cumstantially sketched, by his own hand, in illus 
tration of the dire extremities to which the pioneer 
preachers were driven, now and then, in the prose 
cution of their work. There was no floor in the 
house, the bare ground, leveled off and smoothed 
down, being made to answer instead. Hickory 
poles were laid across at the angles of the -roof 
where it rested upon the walls, to serve as joists, 
which with an over-spread of clapboards formed 
the upper floor. The house had neither bedstead, 
chair, nor table. To supply the want of the first- 
mentioned article of furniture, for his own and his 
wife's accommodation, forked sticks had bee:i 
driven into the ground at one corner of the cabin 



232 BLACK-ROBES. 

as supports for poles, across which clapboards 
were laid, and these "covered with some bedding, 
such as it was." The little negro boy of the estab 
lishment slept, wrapt in a deer-skin, on the ground. 
So did the missionary, between two blankets, with 
his saddle-bags for a pillow. "Surrounded by 
these gloomy circumstances," he "felt rather mel 
ancholy," and his mind began to run back to 
former days of "ease and plenty" (he had been 
raised, according to a previous chapter of his auto 
biography, in a "log cabin," with "no floor" to it, 
and the "wolves howling around it at night"); but 
when he thought within himself that he was better 
off than his Saviour was, for He "had not where 
to lay his head," he became more contented, and 
had a tolerably comfortable night of it. He made 
his breakfast, on a board bench, of corn-bread and 
milk, no spoons. One can scarcely refrain from 
wondering, with some view as to whom the sym 
pathy should apply, if so miserable was the ex 
perience to the preacher for a night, what must it 
have been to the parishioner as the habit, without 
change or relief, of his life ? 

In his more customary ridings, however, the 
itinerant was not liable to risks of inconvenience, 
nor under the necessity of providing against the 
contingencies of a ground-floor, corn-bread and 
milk, and no spoons. A pair of saddle-bags, 
packed with his little all requisite of linen and 
library, was his only equipage. Good houses, 



THE METHODIST. 



233 



public and private, were not so few or far between 
along the way but that the hospitalities of one or 
the other could be claimed, at noontide for dinner, 
or for bed and board, wherever overtaken by its 
approach, at night. Householder and hostler, saint 
and son of Belial, with the courtesy characteristic 
of all classes alike, received him at his coming, 
and civilly entertained him; even the publican 
rarely demanding, and less often receiving, a fee 
for the accommodation. The attention which was 
at first viewed rather in the light of a charity by 
the host, soon came to be regarded as a due by 
the customer, who, in the end, established a habit 
of claiming what he desired with an independence 
that was imposing to behold. Was not the laborer 
worthy of his hire ? 

And it was paid liberally. In the private estab 
lishment its choicest resources were offered for 
his distinguished delectation. Closet and pantry 
were distrained of their rarest delicacies, and the 
poultry-yard of its fattest broodlings, to furnish 
a palatable variety for his table. The air and 
the exercise of the road wefe favorable to diges 
tion; they stimulated healthily the inner man of 
the reverend traveler, and bred an appetite the 
consumptive capacity of which got to be so gen 
erally understood and appreciated as to become 
proverbial. He relished a turkey, and yet objected 
to it (or his own people have persistently slandered 
him) that while it was, perhaps, a little too much, 
20* 



234 BLACK-ROBES. 

as a rqast, for one, it was certainly not enough for 
two. At the inn, where discrimination among 
guests, eating unavoidably at the same board, could 
not well be made, he had to forego the privilege 
of preferred meats, and fare like the rest of its 
patrons; but a "square meal" could always be de 
pended upon ; for there was no stint of provision 
ever to complain of as tables stood among the 
taverns of those times. 

His personal wants having been satisfied, the 
foremost business afterwards of the Black-Robe 
was to make the accident of his presence an agree 
able and professionally profitable one to his enter 
tainer. Perhaps his host of the private lodge was 
a hunter, the warm side of whose heart he intui 
tively knew was to be approached through his 
rifle, like the Arkansas squatter's, of legendary 
renown, through his fiddle. To prove his skill at 
the craft, he would propose a mark and a crack at 
a hundred yards, beat the woodman, of course, 
over and over again, and then, commending the 
gun and complimenting the owner, would follow 
up the last fire with a few practical observations on 
the subject of religion. If the hunter's sound con 
version did not occur on the spot, another round 
of shot, had next " riding" of the circuit, was never 
known to fail. 

Nor did he any the less dutifully neglect his 
mission at the tavern. Whatever the chances or 
the circumstances attending his stay, in season or 



THE METHODIST. 



235 



out of season, he would find, or make, an oppor 
tunity for discovering himself in his ministerial 
character. Probably, on entering the house of an 
evening, he would find the young people of the 
neighborhood assembled, a fiddler at play, and 
couples arranging themselves for a dance. A 
"beautiful, ruddy young lady" would walk very 
gracefully up to him, dropping a handsome cour 
tesy, and pleasantly, with winning smiles, invite 
him out to the floor. He would rise "as gracefully 
as he could," move to the beautiful lady's left side, 
and grasp her right hand with his, while with her left 
wrist she would lean on his arm. In this manner 
they would walk to their position. The whole 
company would seem pleased "at this act of polite 
ness in the beautiful young lady shown to the 
stranger." The negro fiddler would begin to put 
his fiddle in the best order. The preacher would 
then tell the fiddler to hold a minute, and would 
go on to say that for several years he had not under 
taken any matter of importance without first asking 
the blessing of God upon it, and he now desired to 
ask the blessing of God on the beautiful young 
lady and the company who had shown so much 
politeness to a stranger. Here he would grasp the 
beautiful young lady's hand and say, "Let us all 
kneel down and pray;" and then instantly drop 
on his knees and commence praying with all the 
power of "soul and body" that he could command. 
The beautiful young lady would try to get loose 



236 BLACK-ROBES. 

from him, but he would hold her tight. The 
company would look curious. The fiddler would 
run for the kitchen, exclaiming, " Lord a marcy, 
what de matter? What dat mean?" The prayer 
would be followed by singing, the singing by ex 
hortation, and the whole, kept up for hours, would 
result in the " powerful conversion" of the beautiful 
young lady and fourteen others, all before break 
fast-time next morning. 

But the circuit-rider did not confine himself to 
occasional opportunities, such as these, for doing 
good. Indeed, they were merely incidental to the 
main business; sowing seed by the wayside, as it 
were, on the tramp between fields surveyed and 
located for particular tilling. His regular stations 
were chosen at convenient intervals along the 
route, ordinarily an easy day's journey apart, so 
that not unfrequently every evening of the week 
had its appointment for preaching. He was not 
particular in his choice of accommodation for this 
purpose. The best that offered was thankfully 
taken and put to use, private dwellings, bar 
rooms, tavern-porches, court-houses, barns, sheds, 
wagons even, and as a yet other alternative, the 
woods out-of-doors; any spot, anywhere; for the 
Black-Robe felt that when duty called he must 
obey at all hazards. "As the gospel was to be 
preached to every creature, his mission extended 
to every place this side of hell." Happily for the 
cause, Providence so ordered it that the least hos- 



THE METHODIST. 237 

pitable shift should prove the most desirable. 
Under the trees became the favorite assembly- 
room. The people were attracted to it at first 
by the novelty of the thing; then because of the 
excellent adaptation, as they soon found, of the 
forest, with its grand appointments, its arches 
and columns, its naves and transepts, and its dim 
religious light, so impressive of effect, for a sanc 
tuary. True, the choice might seem to imply that 
the prejudice was not well founded which, with the 
ceremonies of the Catholic Church, had led the dis 
senter to abjure its cathedrals, and to reckon respect 
for the Beautiful as among the deadly heresies; but 
one was the handicraft of the Master Architect, 
the other was apprentice-work; the original, as of 
God, might be admirable, but did it follow that 
the imitation, of carnal device, was not damnable? 

As these open-air gatherings were seen to be 
popular ; as hearers in still multiplying numbers 
continued to flock in, and as sinners began to show 
lively signs of awakening, it was thought expedient, 
the better to afford space for conversion to work its 
perfect work, that the meetings should be protracted 
beyond the limit of a single night. Hence arose 
that institution peculiar to the sect and to the sec 
tion, the CAMP-MEETING. 

This spiritual saturnalia, occurring statedly and 
running through a week or a fortnight, was called 
(in its grand annual observance, for it also had its 
" quarterly") late in the summer-time, or early in 



238 BLACK-ROBES. 

the autumn, after the harvests had been gathered 
and before the setting-in of seed-time, the season 
for out-of-doors at this period being propitious, 
and the agricultural population then enjoying their 
chief term of leisure. For the scene of its orgies, 
a space large enough for the purpose was selected 
from some romantic nook of woods, thinned, if 
necessary, of its trees and cleared of whatever 
debris might encumber the ground. Around this 
area the believers pitched their tents, of canvas 
it might be or of bark, or having their wagons 
backed into place in lieu of either, the whole some 
times fenced about with a barricade of bushes, to 
keep out the allies of their adversary the devil. 
At each corner of the inclosure a sort of rude altar 
built of logs, unless the large stump of a tree might 
be had as a substitute, was erected, upon which 
fires were kindled to illumine the darkness and 
keep off the mosquitoes. Lamps also were hung 
out at the tent-fronts and suspended from the 
branches of the trees. A platform was built at one 
side of the area, with a plank placed bench-high 
along its rear for a seat, and another elevated at 
the front, designed to serve as a breastwork for the 
preacher and a place of deposit for his " library." 
Under the platform a plot of ground was railed in 
for the exclusive use of mourners, and was known 
as the Altar, or Glory Pen. Back of this, seats 
boards, that is, resting at either end on billets of 
wood or stones were ranged for the accommoda- 



THE METHODIST. 



239 



lion of all who chose to occupy them during ser 
vice. Rules for the preservation of order in the 
camp were posted up conspicuously in the imme 
diate neighborhood, as well as on the fences and 
trees along the different roads leading to the 
ground, in case of a violation of which the execu 
tive committee was never wanting the Black- 
Robe himself its most efficient member to see to 
the sufficient chastisement of the aggressor. 

Outside the tents the woods were filled round 
and about, wherever vacant space could be found, 
with wagons, carts, bales of hay, broken boxes, 
and other promiscuous litter, only room enough 
being reserved besides not taking into account 
the ways opened, and with diligent care kept 
open, for access to, and egress from, the camp for 
the accommodation of the horses of attendants ; 
with here and there, in by-places, a booth, a bar 
between two trees; and a bush-tent. The border- 
man had his ruling passions: he loved his liquor; 
he was choice in his breed of colts, and alas ! men 
are weak, and women are willing, and both will 
err, in the bush as well as on Broadway. Within 
this precinct, of purer promise surely, the vender 
of beverages had fixed his place, and whisky 
was dispensed to those that thirsted among the 
congregation, freely and openly: here, too, was 
quartered the proprietor with his property of 
that elegant, full-blooded, eight-year-old Arabian, 
whose portrait and pedigree, in printer's ink, con- 



240 BLA CK-R OBES. 

fronted the gaze on every walk and at every turn, 
publicly placarded on the same oak or hickory, 
likely, with the Rules of the Meeting, and whose 
rampant self, jauntily bedecked with ribbons and 
rosettes, and tightly postured with belt and bridle, 
was daily led out before interested groups of be 
holders, for parade, and other purposes ; and here 
the unreclaimed Magdalen made her haunt, in 
the twilight, and in the evening, and in the black 
and dark night, mingling among the strollers of 
the hour, displaying her charms, and with fair 
speech and flattering lips tempting whom she 
might, and, under the very nose of the executive 
committee, leading her captive down to the cham 
ber of death. 

Meetings in the camp were held morning, after 
noon, and night, to which the people were sum 
moned with the blowing of a trumpet, or rather 
of a tin horn. The daylight sessions were, com 
paratively speaking, tame affairs. Grace, as it was 
found among the tents, did not seem to flourish in 
the sun. Like the sorrowful tree or the Indian 
isle, it bloomed only in the night, too delicate and 
phantomy to abide the test of a more searching 
exposure. The opening exercises were undemon 
strative. With the advancing hour interest height 
ened the fervors of devotion, like the glow of the 
fireflies, showing brighter and brighter as thick 
ened the dark until, night fairly set in, illumination 
was at its height and enthusiasm at its liveliest 



THE METHODIST. 241 

To hasten this moment of blissful realization was 
the foremost aim, always, of the exhorter. His 
plans (for he had his plans) were all laid with a view 
to it. 

" Brother," he would say, aside, to his assisting 
preacher, " have you any faith ?" 

" Some," the assistant would respond. 

" And so have I ; a little. Now, I am to preach 
first. If I strike fire, I will immediately call for 
mourners, and you must go in and exhort in every 
direction, and I will manage the altar. But if I 
fail to strike fire, you must preach; and if you strike 
fire, call the mourners and manage the altar. I 
meanwhile will go through the congregation and 
exhort with all the power God gives me." 

Doing his part in carrying out the scheme, the 
first brother (who doesn't relate the circumstance) 
might fall short, except perhaps in producing a 
few promising sparks, but the second (who tells 
the story) is more successful, strikes fire that 
catches, flames, blazes, spreads, and wraps the 
camp in a general conflagration. His eloquence 
is irresistible. Careless hearers become attentive 
and concerned ; sinners, conscience-smitten, grow 
pale and tremulous with terror ; sons of Belial fall 
to the ground in an agony of awakening ; and even 
the Baptists, who would seem to be the most in 
corrigible among the unrighteous, are startled by 
conviction, and begin to cry out, " Oh, pray for us, 
or we are lost and damned forever !" 

21 



242 BLACK-ROBES. 

The work, once under headway, advances with 
astonishing progress. If the spiritual frame were 
liable to like infirmities with the physical, the in 
ference would seem natural and reasonable that 
some colicky distemper of soul had suddenly 
broken out, racking the patient with ache and 
pang and spasm, and that, after all, the conclu 
sions of Wangomen the Delaware were not wholly 
whimsical, nor jalap and ipecac to be despised as 
a physic for the disorder. Men steady veterans 
of the border, who had wrestled with bears in their 
day, and could have bearded lions in their dens 
without an emotion are seized with the weakness 
and quake and quail under its influence. Example 
breeds example : victim after victim is attacked, 
and the distemper becomes general and rages un- 
controlledly. Bodies writhe and strive as in the 
throes of convulsion ; arms fling wildly in the air; 
down on his knees the infected subject falls in 
attitude of prayer, his head forced back upon its 
column of support, until the tight cordage of the 
neck seems ready to crack under the strain; faces, 
picturing, in sharp relief, each one its own pecu 
liar presentment of the passion at play within, look 
fixedly up and staringly, through dry, hot, blood 
shot eyes, towards heaven ; hair, tossed and tangled, 
stands all affright on end, or, broken loose from its 
folds, on the part of the women, streams in dishev 
eled tresses to the earth, and is trampled, trailing 
in the dust, under feet of the shifting multitude. 



THE METHODIST. 243 

Convicts foam at the mouth, gnash their teeth, and 
gasp like drowning or dying ones for breath ; or 
with less frenzied demonstration, swaying their 
bodies to and fro the while, now wring their hands, 
now clap them, clap them with a will, the sharp 
concussion producing reports like pistol-shots. 
Sighs and sobs distress the air. Groanings and 
meanings, wails, and shrieks, and howls, and 
shouts of anguish, fear, despair, exultation, burst 
ing full vent from a hundred a thousand thrice 
a thousand throats, rise, and rolling in tumultuous 
tide, away and away, flood the solitudes with a 
torrent of uproar. The horses at their troughs in 
the woods pause over their oats, and, pricking their 
ears, stand still-bound in listening wonder; the 
trader in Bourbon, confounded, suspends his traffic; 
while they of the Scarlet Letter, the fair unfortunate, 
shuddering as they hear, to shun the notice which 
they just now courted, steal shrinkingly aside and 
hide them in the dark. 

Meanwhile the preacher, having wrought his 
material up to the proper pitch of frenzy, changes 
his base of operations from the pulpit to the Glory 
Pen, crowded now to its utmost capacity with 
seekers and mourners. He is still in the fire 
works line, but, instead of throwing his matches 
promiscuously at the heads of hearers, as from his 
former position, he singles out his subjects and 
applies to each one separately his own particular 
lucifer. There is a distiller of the name of H . 



BLA CK-R OSES. 



say, in the crowd, a green-timbered fellow, coarse 
in the fibre and full of the sap of sin, whom he 
takes hold of. He is an uninflammable customer, 
hard to heat, but finally warms by friction, ignites, 
and is brought under in a blaze of blue light. 
The exhorter announces the victory with a shout, 
" Glory to God ! H - is down ! H - is down ! 
Glory to God!" A Frenchman who had fought 
under Napoleon, next operated upon, perhaps, takes 
spark more promptly, and exclaiming, as he surren 
ders, true to his soldierly training, " Vive Empereur 
Jesus!" is off like a rocket, " a case of conversion 
so clear and powerful that infidelity itself is abashed 
and confounded." A practical joker of the Belial 
family, who has come with a batch of frogs strung 
together to slip over the head of the exhorter while 
stooping and praying for the mourners, is then en 
countered, maybe ; finds to his astonishment that 
he is made a Chinese cracker of, and explodes 
ere well aware of it, while waiting an opportunity 
for his proposed diversion. Among the women 
success is easier than with the men, and more cer 
tain : they seldom miss fire, but* kindling readily, 
flare up and go off gloriously, coruscating in well- 
sustained style, like Roman candles. It is a sin 
gular circumstance, which lookers-on are not slow 
to notice, that the cases calling for much the 
greater share of attention are from among the 
ladies ; that the handsomest girls are always the 
wickedest ; have to be approached the nearest ; 



THE METHODIST. 24$ 

need the closest exhorting ; must be entreated the 
most lovingly, and are the most apt to give way 
physically; to faint and to fall as seems inevitable 
generally, except as the ministerial arm with 
round embrace interposes to prevent the catas 
trophe; Bishop Asbury expresses his fear some 
where " that the women and the devil will get all 
his preachers." 

When not engaged in what may be styled con 
fidential conferences, or private ministries exer 
cised in exclusive behalf of individuals, the preacher 
moves about, picking a passage with careful steps, 
among the mourners, and casts his exhortations, 
as he goes, in sententious discharges, right and 
left among them. "Don't be composed," he says 
to one of the kneelers, who scarcely seems to need 
the admonition, " don't be composed, but pray on, 
brother; pray on; there's no composure in hell or 
damnation." Another is blandly smiled upon, and 
encouraged with gratifying assurances that he is 
clearly on the highway to glory, the convincing evi 
dence of which is, that bobbing up and down on his 
knees, and going through the motions of washing his 
hands in the air, he gives shout to the original, ex 
pressive, and highly devotional sentiment of " Hell ! 
hell ! hell ! hell !" The " fine, beautiful " daughter 
of a father almost irredeemably lost, as she is 
taught to believe, in Presbyterianism, is assured, 
when she affectionately suggests him as a subject 
of exhortation, that his case, though critical in the 
21* 



246 BLA CK-R OBES. 

extreme, is not absolutely hopeless, the vilest Cal- 
vinist may return : " Pray on," he says, " and the 
work will be done. It is not the old big devil that 
is in your father, but a little, weakly, sickly devil, 
and it won't be a hard job to cast him out. If God 
takes hold of your father and shakes him over hell 
a little while, and he smells brimstone right strong, 
if there was a ship-load of these little, sickly devils 
in him, they would be driven out just as easy as 
a tornado would drive a regiment of mosquitoes 
from a stagnant pond." "Sister," he inquires, cheer 
fully, of a young woman, "have you found your 
ransom yet ?" The sister is surprised to learn that 
her engagement with Mr. Ransom, which she had 
supposed to be entirely a secret between that gen 
tleman and herself, is known to the itinerant, but 
does not deny the situation, and blushingly re 
sponds that she is looking for him back next 

Friday evening. " And Brother G ," he goes 

on to query of a next " exercised" subject, " how 
do you feel in the spirit to-night ?" "Bully!" says 

Brother G . 

To heat the blood of his subjects up to the grace- 
enabling mark 173 of the spiritual Fahrenheit 
was what the profane would call the "dodge" 
always of the exhorter. He seemed to act upon the 
presumption that souls feverishly sin -sick must 
be made Mightily worse before there was any 
hope of their growing better; like the physician 
who made it his standing rule of practice, in all 



THE METHODIST. 



247 



cases, to first throw his patients into convulsions : 
there he had them where he wanted them exactly, 
for that was his specialty, he was " * * * * on fits." 

Midnight usually brought the performances to 
an end. The last hymn was sung, the last prayer 
said ; the multitudinous noise of worship rolling off 
in one stormy, final discharge, swept in fast-bearing 
reverberations afar, lessening as it sped, fainting, 
fading, dying, dead in the distance; quiet ruled in 
the camp, save as disturbed by the occasional burst 
of a sob, or groan, or shout of " Glory !" from some 
not entirely-subsided enthusiast; lights were extin 
guished ; worshipers retired to their tents. The 
curtain had dropped on the closing scene, and the 
drama was ended. 

Journeying thus from post to post, the itinerant 
pursued his mission, erecting new stations, plant 
ing new societies, creating new classes, and en 
larging generally the borders of the Methodist 
Zion. Repeated riding of his circuit made its 
course a familiar one. His own presence, and that 
of his horse, became accustomed ones to the peo 
ple. He formed acquaintance with man, woman, 
and child at every cabin. He won upon their con 
fidence by conforming to their ways and partici 
pating in their social usages, ready ever for any 
reasonable frolic : to take a hand at a husking, lend 
a lift at a raising, be about at a log-rolling, stir his 
turn at an apple-butter boiling, or handle a cleaver 
at sausage-chopping on a butchering-day. Nor 



248 BLACK-ROBES. 

would he frown upon the harmless enjoyments of 
the young men and maidens at their festivities of 
a winter evening ; as, indeed, why should he ? for 
"Peeling the willow" was not proscribed by the 
Book of Discipline, nor promiscuous kissing in 
" Come, Philander, let's be marching," nor " hold 
ing" in "Tired of my company," nor "bundling" 
as an institution by itself. By secular conformities 
and indulgences such as these, the preacher estab 
lished himself in the popular liking. For patron 
age bestowed, he enjoyed it, reciprocally, at his 
own soirees ; and improved it, with what result, 
arithmetically considered, was made largely to 
figure on the records of the next annual conference, 
where it stands yet in authentic confirmation of 
the marvelous doings of those Pentecostal days. 



V. 

THE CANE-RIDGE REVIVAL. 

/"^AMP-MEETINGS had their origin, as de- 
* ' scribed, in the year 1800. The first experi 
ments met with such extraordinary success that 
they were rapidly followed up by others, and with 
a continually growing patronage, so that attend 
ants, counted in the beginning by scores, multiplied 



METHODIST. 



249 



into fifties, from fifties increased into hundreds, and 
presently were reckoned by thousands. The first 
of the more imposing series that figure so promi 
nently on the autobiographical page, happened at 
Cabin Creek, Kentucky, in the spring of 1801. 
This was succeeded, with brief intervals of time 
and accommodating ones of distance, by others at 
Concord, Point Pleasant, and Indian Creek. But 
the illustrious one, where occurred the famous 
Cumberland Revival, and which the few, the very 
few gray-bearded fathers still living who were wit 
nesses of it, always refer to with proudest satisfac 
tion, took place in August, and was held at Cane 
Ridge. 

The Rev. Robert W. Finley, a Presbyterian 
minister originally from Pennsylvania, had re 
moved to Kentucky, and, in 1790, fixed his resi 
dence in Bourbon County, where, clearing a spot 
out of the canebrakes, which grew all over the 
broad acres there for miles, he built a log cabin, 
opened a farm, and erected a church. The scene 
of the great revival in question lay within the lines 
of his parish. The miraculous manifestations, as 
they were regarded, of the divine presence at the 
previous meetings, had long been the topic of talk 
abroad, and the settlers, all on the tiptoe of ex 
pectation, were ready to take advantage of the 
leisure which the season offered, attend at the ap 
pointed place, and put to the proof of their own 
eyes' witness the marvels of which they had been 



250 



BLACK-ROBES. 



told. Multitudes that might not be numbered 
began to assemble. From the remotest corners 
of the border, thirty, forty, fifty miles away, they 
gathered in. All day long, and through the night, 
crowds were to be seen pressing eagerly, earnestly 
on, their faces set Zionward, in wagons, on sleds, 
afoot, " upon norses, and in chariots, and in litters, 
and upon mules, and upon swift beasts." Roads, 
lanes, trails, all passable ways of approach, swarmed 
with train following train of pilgrims; the tramp 
of their progress uprooting the sod, which hoof 
and wheel, till then, of customary travel had 
scarcely scarred, and grinding the clodded surface 
of the soil to powder. Whole communities, in 
cluding not merely the men, women, and children, 
but slaves and dogs even, gathered in compa 
nies and joined the general procession, leaving 
only an obliging neighbor, here and there, to keep 
watch in the depopulated settlements during their 
absence. When all were congregated, it is esti 
mated that there were from twenty to twenty- 
five thousand people on the ground. The usual 
accommodations in the way of huts and tents 
were erected on the premises, together with a 
large shed capable of affording shelter, in case 
of unfavorable weather, to five thousand persons. 
Shanties were constructed for use of such as chose 
to turn an honest penny by offering entertainment, 
at so much a head, to casual visitors; and booths 
"for them that sold doves," each with its counter 



THE METHODIST. 



251 



or table, knocked rudely but substantially together, 
of boards, whereupon were arranged platters, 
spoons, knives and forks, unctuous from much 
handling, and supply-dishes, which, replenished 
whenever emptied with steaming meats and vege 
tables, proved temptingly provocative of appetite, 
and seldom grew cold for want of consumers. 

Outside the sanctum of the encampment, but 
closely crowding on it, were pitched the tents of 
the unbelievers a promiscuous class consisting 
largely of horse-thieves, gamblers, blasphemers, 
drunkards, adulterers, and "partakers in all manner 
of wickedness." Associated with the vicious and 
lawless, but not, as yet, utterly contaminated by 
the contact, were to be found the classes addicted 
to simply mischievous exploits, and technically 
known as the careless, " men of awful depravity, 
that would sport while the very fires of perdition 
were kindling around them." A favorite amuse 
ment with these sons of Belial was to play prac 
tical jokes on the preachers and mourners. They 
were also given to cropping the manes and shaving 
the tails of horses ; to tarring the seats and taking 
linchpins out of wagons; to detaching girths from 
saddles, and pilfering halters, whips, and bridles. 

Of such huge and heterogeneous composition 
as was the meeting, without power, and, indeed, 
without the disposition, to enforce order; where 
rather, on the contrary, lawlessness seemed to be 
the accepted law of the hour, it is in no wise sur- 



252 



BLACK-ROBES. 



prising that "nothing was exhibited to the specta 
tor but a scene of confusion, such as scarcely could 
be put into human language." As many as seven 
preachers, out of some thirty or forty present, 
were to be heard declaiming at the same time; one 
posted on the platform, another mounted in a 
wagon, others pulpited on stumps, and still others 
perched on the trunks of fallen trees. The noise 
of their eloquence "was like the roar of Niagara." 
Sermon, or exhortation, prepared the way for 
the more striking proceedings. At its close the 
pent up enthusiasm of the audience began to 
discharge. A universal cry for mercy arose. As 
hearts were hopeful or despondent, their corre 
sponding demonstrations followed. The terror- 
stricken and despairing maddened the air with 
ravings of anguish. Those whose eyes caught 
glimpses of the dawn of redemption were in rap 
tures of ecstasy. Every variety of emotion, in 
every form of expression, found vent at the same 
time. Sharply piercing up through the heavy 
under-swell of sound that rolled and roared, and 
without break or pause kept steadily surging on, 
wild exclamations in horrible commingling were 
to be heard, shrieks of "hell! hell-fire! damna 
tion!" blending with screams of "glory! glory to 
God! hallelujah !" The people had come prepared 
for the infection, expecting it, with their hearts 
set on it, their nerves strung for it; and they 
caught it readily. As with a battalion in a battle- 



THE METHODIST. 



253 



field or a bevy of misses in a boarding-school but an 
example is needed to bring about a general preva 
lence of panic or hysterics, so a first outbreak of 
disorder was all that was wanting all that was 
waited for to involve the whole camp in derange 
ment. Each following moment added fresh 'im 
pulse and new variety to the excitement. Sinners 
were arrested, became wrestling Jacobs, pre 
vailed, and were happy, all ere the echoes, order 
by order, had well died away of the vociferations 
which indicated the various stages of the proceed 
ing. Penitents, passing at a step from darkness 
into light, became "experienced." The exhorted 
at one moment were the exhorters at the next, 
flying to their unregenerate friends and entreating 
them with powerful persuasion and tears of com 
passion to fly to Christ for mercy. Some, under 
conviction and impelled by terror, tore themselves 
from the embraces of anxious relatives and strug 
gled hard to escape from the ground. Others wept 
and groaned, and piteously appealed to Heaven for 
consolation; while others still fell to the earth and 
swooned away, "till every appearance of life was 
gone, and the extremities of the body assumed the 
coldness of death." 

A boy, ten years of age, who for some time had 
stood as a listener near a platform occupied by 
one of the declaimers, felt himself suddenly pos 
sessed of "very strong impressions." Starting 
from his place, he hurried a short distance apart, 
22 



254 BLACK-ROBES. 

mounted a log, and, lifting up his voice in a most 
affecting manner, began to prophesy before the 
congregation. " On the last day of the feast," he 
exclaimed, " Jesus stood and cried, If any man 
thirst, let him come unto me and drink." The 
people turned at the sound of his voice, and, 
attracted by the novelty of the incident, gathered 
in a great crowd about the juvenile orator. He 
was evidently an acute observer, had watched the 
arts of his clerical elders, and copied them well. 
Amid profuse tears he directed his appeal to sin 
ners ; pictured, in a professional way that indicated 
a remarkable memory, the terrible destiny reserved 
for the unrighteous, and then, by way of enticing 
contrast, the golden rewards that awaited the 
penitent in the Beautiful Land reserved for their 
inheritance. His audience pressed closer and 
closer about him, until soon his voice was smoth 
ered and his person lost sight of amid the throng. 
He. was on the point, apparently, of being com 
pletely extinguished, when two strong men of the 
inner circle, seizing him in their arms, lifted him up 
above the heads of the rest, and held him there, 
while for nearly an hour he exhorted " with that 
convincing eloquence that could be inspired only 
from heaven." When exhausted, at last, of strength 
and of language, he took out his handkerchief, 
and, letting it fall from his hand, brought his re 
marks to a close by a happy practical application 
of the device : " Thus, O sinner," said he, " will 



THE METHODIST. 2 $$ 

you drop into hell unless you forsake your sins 
and turn to God !" With the descent of the hand 
kerchief, descended the power of God upon the 
assembly. Sinners fell as men slain in mighty 
battle. Cries for mercy rent the heavens, "and 
the work spread in a manner which human lan 
guage cannot describe." 

The falling feature was the striking one of the 
Cane-Ridge meeting. It had been witnessed be 
fore, but not, till then, to any remarkable extent. 
The manifestations attending it were peculiar and 
really surprising, although not unaccountable. The 
subject, after having, under the stimulating influ 
ence of the unaccustomed atmosphere of the camp, 
been medicined up to a fitting state of susceptibility, 
found himself, suddenly and without the slightest 
premonition, beset with a nervous affection, the 
action of which was, out of the order of all pre 
cedent, capricious and uncontrollable. Certain 
members of the body would cease in their office, 
as though numbed by paralysis, while others, as 
if to compensate for the delinquency, would run 
into extravagant excesses of action. Legs would 
fail and sink helplessly under their proper burden, 
while arms would flourish wildly against the will 
and with unnatural energy. Some among the 
seized were struck dumb; others preserved control 
of their voices, but used them in a very ridiculous 
manner, laughing, barking like dogs, howling like 
wolves, bellowing, bleating, and caterwauling; at 



256 BLA CK-R OBES. 

the same time leaping and dancing like dervishes 
or rolling on the ground and wriggling like Obi- 
men at a pow-wow. Frequently cases happened 
where all the symptoms attending dissolution ap 
peared. The pulse gradually faded, the breath 
came and went in sobs and gasps, with longer and 
longer intervals of suspended respiration, until it 
ceased altogether, and the body lay as dead, still, 
staring, and cold, for hours. While the catalepsy 
lasted, the patient retained full possession of his con 
sciousness, nor, through it all, was there (although 
the authorities here are somewhat contradictory) 
the slightest experience of physical discomfort. 

The jerks, as the phenomenon got to be popu 
larly called, were not confined to the camp-inclosure 
exclusively, neither were their attacks limited to 
seekers and mourners. The thoughtless and care 
less among sinners outside were visited as well, 
one and another being brought down "suddenly, 
as if struck by lightning." Professed infidels and 
scoffers were leveled, with the language of blas 
phemy on their lips. Ladies were attacked at 
breakfast over their toast and tea. Tossing their 
cups and saucers to the ceiling, they would dash 
from the table in great haste, " their long suits of 
braided hair hanging down their backs at times 
cracking like a whip." A converted dancing- 
master, witnessing the behavior of the possessed, 
declared that the devil was at the bottom of it, 
and he was determined "to preach it out of the 



THE METHODIST. 257 

Methodist Church." He ran to a stand, took his 
text, and tried it ; but, before fairly aware of it, his 
subject got the better of him, and he was himself 
helplessly under its influence. His tongue became 
entangled in its thread of discourse. Falling into 
a silly repetition of "Ah, yes! Oh, no!" terms 
thrust irrelevantly into his harangue, and on which 
he stumbled, the jingle of the syllables, iterated 
over and over again, became forcibly suggestive 
of music and motion. Only the hint was needed 
to call into action the old professional habit, and 
the dancing-master, himself again, armed in ima 
gination with the implements of his art, was in 
stantly absorbed in the execution of a jig, fingers 
and elbow furiously at play, while toe and heel 
tapped, sounding time to the dumb performance, 
on the bare boards of the floor. He had over 
estimated his strength: still, vanquished, inglo- 
riously vanquished as he was, "his proud heart 
would not submit. He gave up the circuit and 
retired, and his sun went down under a cloud." 

A certain young man, "tall" and terrible, an 
Arba among the Anakim of the outer precinct, 
who sat mounted on a fine, large white horse, 
forming one of a party of scoffers near by, being 
instigated by the prime Planner of all Mischief, put 
spurs to his steed, and, breaking from his comrades, 
dashed at full gallop through the line of tents into 
the inclosure and among the worshipers, uttering 
horrible imprecations as he made the charge. Still 
22* 



2 5 8 



BLACK-ROBES. 



plunging on, he forced his way, until, coming 
abreast of a kneeling band of seekers, his course 
was arrested. The mysterious Agency of the Air, 
the Angel of Conviction, waiting its opportunity, 
had met it then and there: instantly, as though 
an arrow sped from its bow had pierced his heart, 
the reins dropped from his grasp, he reeled in his 
saddle, and tumbled lifeless to the ground; the 
religious multitude testifying their exultation at 
the coup de grace in bursts of applause addressed 
to the Deity, and with songs of praise and shouts 
of hallelujah! For thirty hours the young man 
lay apparently dead. Symptoms of returning 
animation then began to appear, rapidly eventu 
ating, through a series of convulsions attended by 
fearful groans, in complete recovery. But that 
was not all. His newly -aroused self was no 
longer the Heaven-defiant self of the past. Out 
of that Lethean sleep he awoke a new being. 
" The fiendlike scowl that had overspread his 
features gave way to a happy smile, and, springing 
to his feet, the accents of anguish were changed 
into the loud and joyous shouts of praise." 

One Dr. P. and an interesting young lady of 
Lexington, both " inexperienced," visited the camp 
from motives of curiosity, mutually agreeing before 
hand that, if either of. them should happen to be 
jerked, the other would stand by and have a care 
over the victim until he or she, as the case might 
be, recovered from the attack. The lady, in all 



THE METHODIST. 259 

her pride, as the narrative relates, was soon pros 
trated. The physician laid his finger on her wrist, 
found her pulse gone, became agitated, turned 
pale, and, staggering a step or two, sunk down, 
inanimate as she, in the dust beside her. After 
remaining for some time in this state, they both 
obtained pardon and peace, and went home re 
joicing. Persons were seized on the road going 
to, and returning from, the camp; at taverns where 
they halted as they went, frequently in the act of 
taking the favorite tonic of the day, at the bar, by 
way of prevention; at their plows in the field, at 
their drudgeries in the kitchen, and at their family 
and closet devotions. Sinners wondered at it, 
affected to laugh at it, feared it, were fascinated by 
it, flocked to the scene the central scene of its 
operations, and straightway were down under the 
invisible stroke of its dealing. Like bullocks under 
blow of the axe in a slaughter-pen when execu 
tioners are busiest in packing-time, they dropped, 
hundreds upon hundreds, nay, thousands, falling 
of a night. Intense excitement, accompanied with 
fearful forebodings of calamity, prevailed among 
the people. Many thought, with the dancing- 
master, that Satan with his imps had been let 
loose, and suffered, for a purpose, to enter into the 
hearts of men, as they were of old into the swine, 
what time the herd ran violently down a steep 
place into the sea and perished in the waters. 
Some imagined that because the land abounded in 



2 6o BLACK-ROBES. 

wickedness, a visitation of divine judgment was 
decreed against the nation ; while others, filled 
with alarm, supposed that the Day of Wrath was 
at hand, and that the elements were about to melt 
with fervent heat, and the earth to be consumed. 

To quiet the apprehensions of the timid and to 
silence the misgivings of the skeptical, certain of 
the wise among the churchmen applied themselves 
to the task of a rational solution of the mystery. 
The work was satisfactorily achieved; the nar 
rative of it, as historically transmitted to posterity, 
running substantially thus : 

It is well known that the Baptists embrace in 
their communion a large proportion of the popu 
lation of Kentucky, and that they rigidly adhere 
to the doctrines of unconditional election and 
reprobation, as well as to the pernicious heresy 
of the final and unconditional perseverance of the 
saints. It is equally well kr^own that the same 
mischievous dogmas are held and taught by the 
Presbyterians. Indeed, so generally have these 
errors been preached by these denominations 
that no one entertaining genuine scriptural views 
has heretofore been found fearless and independ 
ent enough to call them in question. The con 
sequence is that they have taken deeper and 
deeper root, and continued to spread, until it may 
be said that the doctrines of Calvin have filled the 
whole country. Under the prevalence of such 
teachings, supported as they are by polemical 



THE METHODIST. 26 1 

divines, whose religion consists almost entirely in 
a most dogged and pertinacious adherence to the 
creeds and confessions of faith handed down from 
orthodox Puritan fathers, it is not surprising that 
professors of religion have fallen insensibly into 
Antinomianisrn. The inconsistencies of Calvin 
have become the subject of the sarcastic sneers of 
infidels, and the inability of his followers to recon 
cile their doctrines "with the justice of God and 
the present order of things " is making fearful 
inroads on the faith, and strengthening the hands 
of the wicked. The friends of the truth have been 
few, comparatively uninfluential, and exposed to 
much persecution. At this juncture it has pleased 
the Lord to look down upon the people of this 
Western country. Man's extremity is God's 
opportunity, and these wonderful manifestations 
which are witnessed are assuredly of Heaven, 
given in evidence, so startling as not to be mis 
taken, that the Almighty means to sweep away 
Baptist-ism, and Presbyterianism, and every other 
refuge of lies ; to confound infidelity and vice, 
" and bring numbers beyond calculation under the 
influence of experimental religion and practical 
piety." 

No exact record of the saving results of the 
Cane-Ridge meeting has been preserved ; but if an 
estimate may be inferred from the statement of one 
of the chroniclers, that he saw as many as "at 
least five hundred swept down in a moment," the 



262 BLA CK-R OSES. 

cases of conversion must have been exceedingly 
numerous. But the revival bore other fruits, which 
were more decided in character, more lasting, and 
much less gratifying. While the orthodox laborers 
were planting the seed, and from the budding pros 
pects of the field were rejoicing in the hope of an 
abundant harvest, the enemy came in and began to 
sow tares broadcast among the grain. Gross errors 
and heresies sprang up and spread among the 
faithful. The belief fundamental to Methodism, 
that Heaven made choice of its gospelers by special 
election, and that the gift of preaching came by in 
spiration, that its exhorters, in other words, like 
the anointed of old, were "holy men of God, who 
spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit," was 
one which was well calculated to tempt the enthu 
siast, especially under extraordinary excitements, 
widely and wildly astray. What were Books of Dis 
cipline, what were creeds concocted at conferences 
and promulgated by human authorities, to him, 
what would they have been to Isaiah, or to Paul, or 
to Wesley, singled out, himself and all alike, as pro 
phets of the Lord, that the supremely illuminated 
and impliedly infallible judgment of either should 
be hemmed in by their limitations or embarrassed 
by their restraints ? The result may be antici 
pated. Old confessions were repudiated ; the Bible 
was pronounced the only rule of faith ; each man 
became his own interpreter, no two interpreting 
alike ; and soon the region swarmed with saintly 



THE METHODIST. 263 

adventurers, who scoured the country, scattering 
wide the brands of schism and making grievous 
havoc among the churches. 

Enticed by the example of half a dozen illiterate 
Presbyterians who had been irregularly admitted 
into the ministerial office, and who had likewise be 
come tainted with the prevailing distemper, a party 
of separatists, under the lead of James O'Kelly, a 
disappointed candidate for a Methodist bishopric, 
banded together, forming a society and designating 
themselves as Neiv-LigJits, or Christians. Their 
specialty was a creed denunciatory of creeds ; their 
confession was a protest against confessions, and 
their church an organized body formed to resist 
organizations. They repudiated the doctrines of 
the Trinity, of total depravity, and of the atone 
ment. Governor Garrard, of Kentucky, fell into 
the heresy, and made himself somewhat famous in 
the composition of a tract on one of the topics 
that touching the question of Christ's divinity 
in controversy. Others of the sloughers-ofT at 
tached themselves to the Quakers, a company of 
whom from the State of New York had recently 
planted a settlement in the region. Elder Holmes, 
a sort of Peter the Hermit, conceived the notion 
that the restoration was at hand, gathered around 
him a group of followers, and started off for the 
prairies in search of the Holy Land. For many 
days he wandered about, reaching at last an island 
in the Mississippi River, where, to the interruption 



264 BLACK-ROBES. 

of his enterprise and the sad disappointment of his 
attendants, he sickened and died. Elder Farnum 
became the founder of the model institution of the 
Screaming Children ; and brother Abel Sargent, 
the Halcyon Preacher and Millennial Messenger, 
who lived on very intimate terms with the angels, 
and received his dispatches statedly, like any other 
foreign ambassador, from heaven, appeared as a 
second Messiah, perambulating the wilderness 
with his twelve disciples, all women, and pro 
claiming his revelations. He denied that there 
was a devil, a hell, or a future judgment. On a 
" banter " of one of his apostles, he undertook a 
forty days' fast, in imitation of the memorable one 
in the Wilderness. He persevered in the experi 
ment, actually abstaining all the while from food, 
for sixteen days, when, still persisting, he died from 
starvation. A certain zealot of the name of Kid- 
well also began to prophesy, affirming that men 
were never excluded from heaven because of crime; 
that God would not retaliate wrong for wrong; that 
expiation in the flesh follows for offenses of the 
flesh, and that out of the body is neither sin nor 
punishment, the souls of all, awarded the one 
destiny, sharing alike in the delights of Paradise. 
The measure of success attending the labors of 
these reformers has not been recorded. 

The "Falling Exercise" continued for some time 
to prevail as a " manifestation " in the churches, but 
not with the " power and demonstration " that gave 



THE METHODIST. 265 

it its marked distinction on this occasion. The 
cases of " arrest," however, as faith in its efficacy 
as a converting instrumentality began to waver, 
became fewer and fewer, ceasing eventually alto 
gether. Near about the same time, indeed, it 
broke out again, but in a different settlement of the 
border then, and among the congregations of a dif 
ferent people. As among Methodists, its epidemical 
career was limited to the one season and the one 
spot, in its traditional association with which the 
"Cane-Ridge" has become famous first among 
camp-meetings, and the " Cumberland " of tower 
ing renown among revivals. 



VI. 



MENTIONABLE MEN AMONG THE PREACHERS OF THE 
BORDER. 

WHEN the material is considered of which 
the Methodist ministry in border-days was 
composed, it could scarcely be expected that any 
of the order should have attained to such a degree 
of eminence as would challenge specially the notice 
of after-times. Two hundred and eighty preachers, 
through the first sixteen years' existence of the 
church on the frontier, constituted the clerical 
2 3 



266 BLACK-ROBES. 

(itinerant) force of the service. They were all 
uneducated, save in the simplest rudiments of com 
mon-school learning ; or, as one of their number 
who has written a book is pleased to express it, 
" there was not a single literary man among them." 
Minds gotten up after that sort of fashioning are 
not of the stamp to make a mark that is likely to 
prove permanently prominent. 

But there were those who in their day and gen 
eration had a distinction, and who in the circuits 
over which they traveled were famous. Good 
fighting-properties and propensities were re 
spected in the church as well as out of it ; and the 
Black-Robe who, boldly offering or accepting de 
fiance, stood always ready, under provocation, to 
whip or be whipped, was noted and petted among 
believers quite as much as could have been Crib 
or Molyneaux among bruisers. John Ray has an 
honorable mention in history because of his " great 
muscular power and natural courage," an illustra 
tion of which has been particularly set forth in an 
anecdote. Himself and a party of other itinerants 
in the course of their journeying were approaching 
a toll-gate which, near where the road branched, 
had recently been moved from its position on one 
of the forks to the main stem, in order to command 
passage and control fare from travelers along both 
routes, when the right of the keeper to demand 
toll was called in question. John Ray disputed it 
roundly, and declared that if the rest would agree 



THE METHODIST. 267 

he would carry them through without cost. One 
of his companions expressed a desire to know how 
he would do it. " I will ride up to the gate," said 
he, " and command the keeper to open it." " But 
suppose he declines ?" it was suggested. " Why, 
I will break the gate down," said John Ray, " and 
let him do his worst." To avoid the fray which 
he knew must ensue, one of the more peaceably 
disposed, who luckily happened to be the purse- 
bearer of the party, trotted on in advance and 
settled with the toll-man, although " there was a 
great deal of clamoring behind him," and the 
" company looked sour and showed some dissatis 
faction." John was deprived of the opportunity 
of showing his muscle on the occasion, but not of 
demonstrating to the satisfaction of his fellow-itin 
erants that he was entirely willing in fact, that he 
would be rather glad of a chance to put it to the 
proof. 

Peter Cartwright stands high on the record as a 
sharer in his honors with the redoubtable Ray : 
hence was he fancifully known as the " Bull-dog " 
among the saints, as well as among the sinners, of 
his time. At a camp-meeting attended by a larger 
number than usual of " rabble and rowdies," all 
drunk', and armed with dirks, clubs, knives, and 
horse-whips, two finely-dressed fellows marched 
into the congregation with their hats on, and rose 
up and stood in the midst of the ladies and began 
to laugh and talk. They were ordered to desist, 



268 BLA CK-R OSES. 

but declined, couching their refusal in terms which 
out of the pulpit were considered profane, if not 
blasphemous. Peter immediately stepped down 
from the platform, walked up to one of the in 
vaders, dodged a blow from a loaded whip aimed 
at his head, closed in on his man, and brought him 
to the ground. A drunken magistrate interfered, 
and ordered the reverend combatant to let his 
prisoner loose or " he would knock him down." 
Cartwright invited him, very coolly, to " crack 
away." The officer took him at his word, and 
aimed a blow which might have damaged his 
profile, except that it was scientifically parried by 
the preacher, who, taking advantage of the un 
guarded instant, jumped in, and, seizing the coat- 
collar of his antagonist with one hand and his hair 
with the other, " fetched him a sudden jerk for 
ward," floored him, and leaped on his prostrate 
body. The ringleader of the rioters then stepped 
forward and made three passes at Peter, who, ex 
hibiting much skill, not only warded off the thrusts, 
but, watching his chance, delivered a ri^ht-hander 
fair "on the burr of the ear" in return, "which 
dropped him to the earth." The friends of order then 
rushing to the rescue, the mob was soon dispersed. 
When the fight was ended, Cartwright resumed his 
place at the sacred desk, and, taking for a text the 
appropriate passage, " The gates of hell shall not 
prevail," preached a sermon with such " power and 
demonstration" that three hundred hearers fell like 



THE METHODIST. 269 

dead men in battle, and two hundred professed re 
ligion and were added to the church. 

To excel in the art lachrymose, or be able at 
will to command the shedding of tears, was es 
teemed a rare accomplishment. Ralph Lotspiech, 
with no other possibly discoverable virtue to dis 
tinguish him, was nevertheless a man of mark 
because of his proficiency in this particular ; and 
so, as the Weeping Prophet, a Niobe in broad 
cloth, he has been calendared with the illustrious 
and lives among the immortal of the period. 

Miracles, not at all uncommon among Method 
ists, were sometimes a means of celebrity. Brother 
Joseph Dickson, a great hunter and trapper of the 
border, having provided himself with the necessary 
outfit, took passage in a " dug-out" and started off 
on a voyage to the wild Indian country on the 
Missouri. Two winters were spent in this remote 
and unfriendly region. To protect himself against 
the bitter cold of the climate, he made an excava 
tion in a steep hill-side, where he managed to lodge 
with tolerable comfort. The glare of the light from 
the snow, however, affected his eyes to such an 
extent that ultimately, towards the close of the 
second winter, he became blind. Reduced to this 
helpless and hopeless condition, and with death 
apparently certain before him, he began to realize 
how great a sinner, and how utterly unprepared 
for the future, he was. He knelt and prayed, and 
solemnly vowed to God that, if he were spared and 

23* 



2/0 BLA CK-R OBES. 

delivered, his life should thenceforth be devoted to 
His service. All of a sudden there was a strong 
impression made on his mind that if he would 
take the inside bark of a tree that grew near by his 
cave, and beat it up soft and fine, soak it in water, 
and apply it as a wash, his vision would be restored. 
He tried the treatment at night, and awoke in the 
morning to find the inflammation gone and his 
eyes made whole again. He then " felt that God 
had forgiven his sins, and that he ought to praise 
and give glory to His name." As in further evi 
dence of the special interposition of Providence 
in his case, it is stated that, spring soon opening, 
he had "astonishing good luck" at trapping, se 
curing a great amount of the best furs, which he 
afterwards sold in St. Louis for several thousand 
dollars. He then returned home, " took preach 
ing into his cabin," joined the church, became 
a leader and steward, and acquired a renown at 
once, particularly as a successful agent in the col 
lection of funds for the support of the gospel. 

Others, again, were famed as dreamers of drea r.s 
and seers of visions; their power and scope of 
clairvoyance scarcely up to the old prophetic 
standard, perhaps, but among believers none the 
less credible or creditable on that account. John 
Stewart, the Mulatto of Marietta, to whom allu 
sion has already been made, slept, and, sleeping, 
dreamed that he was about to commence a reli 
gious meeting. While seated, awaiting the hour 



THE METHODIST. 271 

appointed for the opening of service, an Indian 
man and woman, "clothed in particular garments," 
entered the house "in a peculiar manner," saluted 
him, shook hands with him, and "seemed to mani 
fest peculiar earnestness and interest in regard 
to his message," It was mysteriously made to 
appear to John that they invited him "to go and 
preach for their people," living somewhere, not 
definitely set forth, " northwest of Marietta." The 
dream impressed him powerfully. He tried to 
argue the force of it away; but it clung to him 
night and day. Doubting the call plunged him 
into a state of mental misery ; the favorable con 
sideration of it brought "great peace and joy of 
mind." He retired to the woods and fields, day 
after day, to pray, and at each visit regularly saw 
the Indian and the squaw, always seeming to come 
from the northwest and renewing their invitation 
"to come and preach for them." The mental an 
guish resulting from the difficulty of deciding the 
question of duty so agitated his body that he was 
thrown into a severe fit of sickness. When brought 
to his bed, he finally resolved that as soon as he 
could " pay some debts which he had contracted 
before he had experienced religion," he would 
recognize the call as of Providence, and go. His 
health and strength were immediately restored. 
Being enabled to effect a settlement of the pecu 
niary claims against him, he prepared himself for 
his missionary enterprise, followed up the north- 



2 ; 2 BLACK-ROBES. 

west course, according to direction, and in due 
time reached a small settlement of half-breed 
Wyandots on the Upper Sandusky, where among 
the first to accost him on his arrival he recognized 
instantly, in living identity, the Indian and squaw 
of his vision, a manifest confirmation of the 
divinity of the dream. 

The Rev. Jonathan Stamper had also his revela 
tions. Once upon a time, in a " remarkable dream," 
he had an interview with the spirit of the Rev. 
John P. Finley, one of his best friends in life, and 
for whom he mourned in death as a dear brother 
departed ; and the burden of the vision was as 
follows : 

In his slumbers Stamper thought that he went 
to the house of Finley, who welcomed him at the 
door with his usual urbanity, expressed much 
gratification at the visit, took him in, and sat down 
with him, side by side, at the fire. Jonathan, al 
though he said nothing, felt an anxiety, as was 
natural, to learn something respecting the world 
of spirits. The shade of the departed, divining 
the desire, said, 

" Brother, you are filled with curiosity." 

" Yes," Jonathan replied ; " my mind has taken 
a very curious turn." 

" Well," continued the shadow, " ask any ques 
tion you see proper, and I will satisfy you, so far 
as I can, consistently with the laws of the country 
where I live." 



THE METHODIST. 273 

" Brother," Jonathan then began to interrogate, 
" are you happy ?" 

" Happy as heaven can make me," was the re 
sponse. 

" When you died, did you enter immediately into 
heaven ?" 

" No ; but I immediately started for it. It took 
me three days to make the journey, though I sped 
with the velocity of a sunbeam. I passed beyond 
the boundaries of this system, and lost sight of the 
most distant star that twinkles in these skies, and 
entered into thick and uninterrupted darkness." 
Here the shadow paused for a moment; then, re 
suming with an expressive look, " Oh, brother," it 
said, " hell is a solemn reality ! After this, I all at 
once burst into the glories of heaven." 

" The Scriptures represent heaven as a glorious 
city, such a one as was never seen on earth, and 
by other splendid and beautiful imagery. Is this 
entirely figurative," inquired the dreamer, " or is it 
a literal description ?" 

" Partly literal and partly figurative," answered 
the shade. " Heaven is a local residence gloriously 
fitted up for the abode of saints and angels. All 
the beautiful imagery of the Scriptures is there 
seen, though of a spiritual character ; such as the 
trees ever green, the golden streets, etc." 

Jonathan then inquired if the saints in heaven 
knew each other. 

The deceased assured him that they did, per- 



274 



BLACK-ROBES. 



fectly. He knew all the patriarchs, prophets, and 
apostles at sight 

Here the dreamer, satisfied with his examination, 
rested ; when his ethereal visitant, who seemed to 
be quite as much in the dark about earthly affairs 
as was his brother in the flesh concerning things 
celestial, became querist in return, and thus began 
to interview the slumberer : 

" I desire to know how you are getting along in 
the good work." 

" About as we were when you were with us." 

" Do the Methodists pay their preachers no 
better than formerly ?" 

" No !" 

" Oh ! what a pity ! what a pity ! The itinerant 
plan," the shadow of the old exhorter then went 
on to say, " is the plan of God. He designs it to 
take the world, and nothing will prevent it but a 
want of liberality in our people. You must never 
locate. If I had my life to live again, I would 
travel, if I begged my bread from door to door. If 
I had traveled as I ought to have done, I should 
have shone much brighter in heaven than I now 
do. Don't locate, brother; God will support you." 
He then reached up to the chimney-piece, the 
dreamer proceeds to relate, and took down a con 
siderable roll of bank-notes of the most beautiful 
and singular appearance, which he handed to Jona 
than, saying, " Here, these are for you." 

Jonathan suggested that perhaps the money had 



THE METHODIST. 275 

better go to his own widow, but the shade an 
swered, " No ; it is for you. There is- a bank in 
heaven for the support of itinerant preachers, and 
this is for you ;" when the slumbering brother re 
luctantly reached out his hand and took it After 
some loud and animated shouting and singing, the 
vision ended, and the sleeper awoke. 

This saintly interview of Brother Jonathan must 
not be understood as a humorous invention, de 
vised, by way of novelty, as a hint for higher 
salaries, but as a circumstance of serious fact and 
worthy of most sober acceptance. 

Among the reverends notable for their early 
labors along the bor- er are to be found such men 
as Thomas Wilkinson, John Page, John Watson, 
Lewis Garret, Benjamin Lakin, Jesse Walker, Sam 
uel Parker, Samuel Doughty, Benjamin Young, 
Anthony Houston, John Adam Granadd, Jacob 
Young, Archibald McElroy, distinguished for 
his " peculiar aversion to Calvinism," and the 
Bishops Asbury and McKendree. Jarvis C. Tay 
lor has a rather prominent record as "a pretty 
good poet,'*and the author of a pamphlet under 
the inviting title of " News from the Infernal 
Regions." James Quinn, who " lived and preached 
like a primitive evangelist," enjoys the distinction, 
which he shares with his " poor horse Wilks," of 
having been first to carry the Methodist gospel 
into the State of Ohio (1799). Four years later, 
having been appointed, with John Meek for his 



2 ;6 BLACK-ROBES. 

colleague, to the newly-created " Hockhocking 
Circuit," embracing the settlements in the valleys 
of the Muskingum, Scioto, and Hockhocking, he 
made his permanent abode within its bounds. 
Benjamin Lakin is known in connection with Peter 
Cartwright as having been the original pioneer of 
the Faith in Indiana (1802), among the borderers 
occupying the lands opposite Louisville. These 
neighborhoods were formed into a circuit called the 
" Silver Creek Circuit," and placed under charge 
of Moses Ainsworth, in 1807. The credit of in 
troducing Methodism into Illinois (1793) belongs 
to Joseph Lillard; although Hosea Riggs was the 
first to settle in the State, about five years later. 

Methodism was of rapid growth in the back 
woods, everywhere except in Western Pennsyl 
vania, throughout the length and breadth of which 
" Calvinism and Universalism had so intrenched 
themselves that Methodism could scarcely live," 
its preachers " not hoping to rise above the occu 
pation in the church of hewing wood and drawing 
water." In 1800 the communion, embracing the 
entire membership of the border, numbered 2OOO 
souls. In 1802 it was increased to 7200; in 1804, 
to 9600; and in 1811, to 30,741. Work done 
quickly, however, is seldom work done well. 
Members were glued to the surface merely, as 
would appear, not mortised into the body of belief; 
so that, while there is room for regret, there is 
none for surprise, that they should hold in place 



THE METHODIST. 277 

by an attachment very precarious, and extremely 
liable to come apart under unfavorable exposure. 
Three thousand cases of apostasy are reported as 
having occurred within one year (1812). Perhaps 
it was from the commonness of a tendency thus to 
lapse natural, nay, inevitable, from the "method" 
by which conversions were made that, to meet 
the exigency, it had been found necessary at the 
outstart to declare against the dogma of the " per 
severance of the saints," and not only to confess 
the possibility of "falling from grace," but to 
write and register the confession as a doctrine of 
the church. 

And so, keeping up a pretty equal ratio of in 
crease through the years ensuing, the Society has 
gone on winning and losing, but, in the long run, 
gaining and growing ; and so it lives and flourishes, 
whether to last for long in the future, as organisms 
of forced growth seldom can, or to die out eventu 
ally, all the sooner for the process, the time to be 
must determine. 



24 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 



I. 

OLD REDSTONE - ITS PEOPLE AND ITS PRESBYTERY. 

OVER the top-piece of the door of the old 
house in which he lived, in the " Nether 
Bow/' John Knox, the maker of Presbyter ianism, 
had caused to be written this legend : 

. all * and * w* . nichfaw* . a 



If the distinguished Scotch Reformer had made 
search through all the recorded sayings of the wise 
of all ages, he could not, for his purpose, have hit 
upon a more comprehensive, a better, or a more 
beautiful precept If, as well as across the lintel 
of his home, he could have had the sentence in 
scribed over the threshold of the sanctuary in 
which he preached, and at the same time have made 
its sentiment the governing principle of the new 
faith which it was his choice to proclaim, his fol 
lowers would have been none the worse of it, and 
himself, perhaps, somewhat the better. But the 
24* (281) 



282 BLACK-ROBES. 

text seems not to have been understood according 
to the letter of its rendering ; else the First of 
Presbyterians could never have merited tie epithet, 
scarcely complimentary, of the " Iconoclast," nor 
his disciples have perpetuated for themselves a 
fame of reproach for deeds of violence and vandal 
ism done by their hands. Churches would not 
have been forcibly entered and despoiled; pictures 
and images sacred to Christian worshipers would 
have been spared, and monasteries would have 
been exempt from sack and from pillage. 

Whatever tracing may serve for his picture as 
of to-day, with which this sketch has nothing to 
do, one hundred years ago, when we find our 
" congregation"alist drifted off from his native 
shore and anchored far away in an inland wilder 
ness of the New World, we discover a likeness but 
little altered from the original, notwithstanding 
generations had passed since its angry population, 
roused at the blast of their prophet's trumpet, were 
stirred to riotry in the streets of Perth, and although 
two centuries had elapsed since the Reformer him 
self had ended his career and been gathered to his 
fathers. First among adventurers had he started 
from the settlements of his people on the James 
and Rappahannock, and foremost among squatters, 
crossing the ridges of intervening mountains and 
penetrating to the "Yough" and Monongahela, 
had he hewn out his little clearing and planted his 
cabin, on the levels and slopes drained and made 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 283 

fertile by their floods. Still the legitimate, unadul 
terated issue of the race to which he belonged, 
the characteristics of the progenitor were inherited 
in the successor; his tough energies, eager to be 
employed, seeking that occasion for exercise 
among the savages which more fortunate forbears 
had found in their feuds among old neighbors. 

Backwoodsmen were "crack " men all, as it well 
became them to be; but at handling an axe or 
poising a rifle, at leveling a tree or laying a Mingo, 
at willing with a purpose and doing what was to be, 
whole-heartedly, till all done and well done, better, 
at best, than the Scotch-Irish Presbyterian wore 
not buckskin nor domiciled in logs on the border. 
Did forests, dense and deep, encumber the ground 
which he would reduce to cultivation ? Inch by 
inch he hacked his way in through the timber, till 
patches at first of fat soil growing into fields, then 
widening into farms, were laid bare, and the labor 
that Hercules might have halted at was accom 
plished. Were murderous assaults essayed against 
him by the savage ? He was ready to meet him, 
in his own way and on his own terms : behind trees, 
a hundred yards between, at " Hy Spy," the style 
of dueling current in those days, with a rifle ; 
openly and face to face, at throwing-distance, with 
a tomahawk ; or grip and grip, with a knife. Be 
sieged in his cabin, he would hold at bay his 
score of dusky assailants outside, discharging death 
through the loop-holes, while his wife moulded 



284. BLACK-ROBES. 

the bullets and his stripling son picked the flints ; 
amid all comporting himself as composedly as 
though a bull's-eye were his target, and a shooting- 
match on an after-harvest holiday the occasion. In 
his lexicon there was no such word as fear, no 
such word as fail. His practical belief was that 
virtue goes by inheritance, and that with man, the 
son, in his degree, as with God, the Father, in his, 
all things were possible ; that, not in a conditional 
sense but an absolute, it was practicable to say to 
a mountain, " Be thou removed, and be thou cast 
into the sea," and to see it done ; in fine, that mira 
cles were not mysteries, but may-be's, difficult, 
no doubt, of achievement, but, under a living con 
sciousness of one's omnipotence, feasible. 

But the Presbyterian was not only remarkable 
for his qualities of faith and courage. All the 
severer, or what may be termed the more strictly 
masculine, virtues besides, were permeating ele 
ments, as well, in his character. He was honest. 
Averse to aught that savored of disingenuousness 
or dissimulation, of hypocrisy or fraud, his opin 
ions were never liable to misapprehension, nor his 
conduct, if he knew it, open to misconstruction. 
As he thought, he spake, " the word the cousin 
to the thing" always; as he spake, he meant; and 
as he meant, so, to the letter, he lived. He was 
just. Accepting certain maxims, hereditary in his 
house since the days of the Marys, or of Moses, 
for that matter, as of settled incontrovertibility, 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 285 

he made them the rule of his reasoning and of his 
judgments. The rule may have been hard, but 
it was wholesome ; he could quote you the text 
for it, and he was true to the text. Wrongs done 
had to be righted to the fullest degree of compen 
sation. If a man caused a blemish in his neigh 
bor, as he had done so was it to be done to him. 
It was bounden duty to duplicate a crime lawfully 
to perpetrate over again that which in itself was 
unlawful in order to atone for it; to smite for 
having smitten ; to maim for having maimed ; to 
murder for having murdered. Such was his stand 
ard of equity ; even-handed assuredly, and impar 
tial, as was becoming, in accordance with the 
economy of ancient dispensation, in which he de 
lighted, and to which he adhered with loyal fidelity. 
So, examined strictly on each, down through the 
whole catalogue of moralities, examined, that is, 
in the light of the olden ordinances, he might be 
represented as of righteous reputation in all, unim 
peachable, irreproachable. Like the young Judean 
in the gospel, he knew the Commandments, and 
kept them. He did not commit adultery ; he did 
not kill ; he did not steal ; he did not bear false 
witness ; he defrauded not ; he honored his father 
and his mother. 

But there his virtues ended. Perfect as he strove 
to be, and as, according to the law, let it be con 
ceded, he was, yet, measured by the purer standard 
of the gospel, was he lamentably wanting. As the 



286 BLACK-ROBES. 

law knew not charity, neither did he. How could 
he be generous and at the same time just? To 
show mercy was, to the extent of the showing, 
without authority to abate the punishment duti 
fully due the offender, thus becoming an offense 
in itself. To forgive absolutely was to forget all 
obligation and to sin unpardonably. Under cloud 
of such a conviction, he stood veiled impenetrably 
apart, as it were, from all the warmer, kindlier, 
brighter influences of heaven. With the tender 
growth indigenous to it ever as it peeped to the 
surface plucked up by the roots, his heart, weary 
at length of the ineffectual struggle, ceased its 
efforts, sunk into unproductiveness, and so re 
mained, a blighted, ruined, wreck-strewn waste. 
He had no feeling. His nerves were steel ; " his 
blood was very snow-broth." Hard, uncompro 
mising, compassionless, the very virtue the sum- 
mum jus in which he gloried, was the vice the 
summa injuria that told most to his shame. 

The Presbyterian had a religious character as 
well as a moral ; not less marked, not less thor 
oughly imbued with the spirit of the law, not less 
in accord with the temper of the gospel. 

A reverend orator, now occupying a high posi 
tion as a theological teacher in a leading school of 
the sect, on a certain occasion once made " Prot 
estantism " the theme of a popular discourse. In 
the discussion of his subject, he undertook to make 
it appear that the antagonistic feature implied in 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 287 

its title was the one of highest order and of most 
praiseworthy merit in the reconstructed system of 
which he appeared as the champion, in other 
words, arguing, upon the presumption, apparently, 
that whatever is, in religion, is, always has been, 
and always must be wrong, that therefore the 
oftener the " protest " the purer the profession. In 
proof of his point he started back with the genesis 
of history, quoting his examples from the patriarchs 
(strangely overlooking, however, the still earlier 
instance in the garden of Eden), and so, from the 
Luther of the Flood, coming down, through the 
prophets, the apostles, and the martyrs, to John 
Knox of Edinburgh. Why he stopped short of 
Beecher or Brigham Young did not satisfac 
torily appear. 

The early religionist of the Monongahela Val 
ley was of like mind, precisely, with the Princeton 
Professor. His conviction seemed to be that the 
worst and most dangerous enemy, if not, indeed, 
the only one, which the church had to contend 
against, was the church itself; that the surest way 
to prove a faith perfect was to pick flaws in it; that 
to point out its weaknesses was to show its strength, 
and coming down to the practical belief at the 
bottom of the whole that to despitefully treat the 
world of believers outside his own elect circle, and 
to cast contempt upon their usages, was, as the Nether 
Bow motto had it, to "lufe God above all, and his 
nichbour as himself." Chiefly was it his duty to 



288 BLACK-ROBES. 

protest against all, in creed, or custom, or cere 
monial, that appertained to the Roman Catholic 
Church, that Scarlet Woman, and Mother of 
Harlots and Abominations of the earth. Did she, 
out of deference to a taste which she thought it 
not derogatory to her Christian character to gratify, 
build her temples after an artistically ordered plan, 
and with an eye to architectural beauty? Turret 
and spire, and arch and column, were heathenish 
devices, therefore, and decorated walls and carved 
woods and dim religious lights idolatrous inven 
tions, contrived to captivate the carnal sense and 
allure infatuated souls to their eternal undoing. 
Square walls instead, and squat roofs, inclosing 
interiors bare, utterly, of ornament, and as dull, 
comfortless, and wretched as possible, composed 
the edifices of worship, presumed only to be con 
sistent with a proper idea of devotion. In the 
observance of the "popish" Sunday was it lawful to 
engage in such innocent diversions as, contributing 
to rest and relaxation, would make the day one to be 
looked forward to eagerly through the week, and 
to be enjoyed heartily and sincerely when it came? 
The very idea of " rest," in any reasonable sense, lay 
under rigid ban of the "protest." To walk abroad 
in wood or field, to sing (unless a psalm of Rouse), 
to read (except a treatise on Justification, or a dis 
sertation on the Decrees), to talk (unless upon 
some topic drawn from the Confession of Faith), 
to laugh from any cause, and, indeed, to eat (ex- 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 289 

cept cold meats of Saturday's cooking), were sins, 
one and all, of rankest odor, that smelt to heaven. 
Dispensation was granted for but one indulgence: 
"Monongahela" was not prohibited, and the Pres 
byterian could take his toddy when he pleased 
hot or cold without offense. For writing 
hymns and singing them on the Lord's day, Zin- 
zendorf, the Moravian, and his daughter were 
arrested and fined in the sum of six shillings. In 
fact, to such an extent was the reformatory process 
carried that Christ was almost protested out of 
Christianity, and the anomalous but scarcely sin 
gular coincidence succeeded of extremes meeting, 
and Gospeler and Jew uniting on a common basis 
of belief and practice. 

And yet the Presbyterian was guilty of glaring 
inconsistencies. He censured the presumption of 
Rome in claiming to be the only true church, and 
yet was quite as exclusive himself, holding no 
communion with any one outside of his own per 
suasion. It was punishable misdemeanor to attend 
a Methodist meeting. To refuse to have his child 
baptized by a " lawful minister" subjected the unruly 
member to a fine, by way of expiation (for pardons 
had their purchase-price outside of Babylon as 
well as in it), of two thousand pounds of tobacco. 
It was a cruel, despotic wrong, which neither God 
nor man could excuse, to burn John Rodgers at 
the stake, and yet it was a law " of universal and 
perpetual equity," as orthodoxy did not hesitate to 
25 



290 BLACK-ROBES. 

preach, and quote the Scripture for (Deut xiii.9, 10), 
"to put to death any apostate seducing idolater or 
heretic who seeketh to thrust away the souls of 
God's people from the Lord their God." He con 
tended for a Bible without note or comment, in 
sisting that " God was his own interpreter, and He 
would make it plain," and yet, notwithstanding, 
thought the "gilt" of a confession indispensable 
for the "refined gold" of the word, which the be 
liever was forced to accept as solid coin, conscience 
or no conscience, on peril of excommunication. 
To show reverence to the Cross through one sense 
was gross idolatry, while to adore it through an 
other was orthodox and proper. He might not 
look upon that sacred emblem without sin, and yet, 
most rightfully and piously (but out of the sanc 
tuary only at first, until Rouse, after a convulsion 
that shook the church to its centre, was set aside 
for the hymn-book), he could sing, or hear sung, 
"Jesus, I my cross have taken," or, "Simply to 
thy cross I cling," or, " Here it is I find my heaven, 
while upon the cross I gaze." So in his lighter 
social occupations and amusements. To participate 
with a lady, at a neighborhood gathering of an 
evening, in a jig, a fling, or a hornpipe, was scan 
dalously indelicate and immoral, while to " hold," 
and to "bundle," as the since-discarded but then 
all-prevalent customs were on the border, was 
harmless and allowable. A Virginia reel was a 
"session"able enormity, but a deacon might dance 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 



2 9 I 



at the selfsame diversion under the fiction of 
"Peeling the willow," kiss his partner, too, at 
the end of it, if he pleased, and not provoke the 
whisper of a protest. 

The Presbyterian could not be charged with 
negligence in the religious training of his children. 
While nurselings still, and ere able to articulate 
the syllables of their task distinctly, they were 
taught to repeat devoutly, bent at their mother's 
knees, or at the bedside, and regularly as the hour 
for retiring came with each night, "Our Father 
which art in heaven." Nor, besides, were their 
seats allowed to be vacant at the " family exercise," 
when, morning and evening, that service was con 
ducted, the father reading, and copiously comment 
ing upon, some chosen portion of Scripture, lead-ing 
in the singing of a psalm, and delivering a prayer 
remarkable for its orthodoxy, its legality, and its 
length. On weekdays no additional observances 
excepting, of course, the "grace" at meals 
were exacted. Bible and psalm-book were laid 
carefully aside betweenwhiles, one upon the other, 
in their corner, by sacred appropriation, of the 
shelf, balanced at the opposite end by " Baxter's 
Call to the Unconverted," or " Alleine's Alarm," 
and the " Pilgrim's Progress." The moral obliga 
tion of Work was tantamount, in its place, to the 
spiritual one of Worship, and, as in one case so in 
the other, the youths of the household had to 
take and bear their proportionate share. " Sab- 



2 9 2 BLACK-ROBES. 

bath," however, was the day especially devoted to 
educational purposes. School-hours began before 
breakfast, and, without a moment (except a stolen 
one) of intermission or relaxation, were continued 
until bedtime. Study, close, hard, dry, as incom 
prehensible subject-matter could make it, was the 
inflexible law, submission to which, enjoined by 
parental authority, was enforced by such threaten- 
ings of divine indignation for neglect as, striking 
terror to the soul of the pupil, proved all-sufficient 
to insure it. The discipline was stringent, but it 
was effective ; so effective that scarce a boy or girl 
of " evangelical " begetting was to be found on the 
border but that, with Madge Wildfire, could say 
" the single carritch, and the double carritch, and 
justification and effectual calling, and the Assem 
bly of divines at Westminster," through each par 
ticular " act " and " work," and prohibition and re 
quirement, from cover to cover, without a stumble. 
Fifty-two good whole days at cramming out of 
three hundred and sixty-five, repeated year after 
year until the student had attained a parental age 
and relation himself, ought to have left him at the 
end quite competent to pass examination. And it 
did. He understood all mysteries and all knowl 
edge quite as well as Paul, perhaps a little better. 
Indeed, so complete was his theological schooling 
so thoroughly (to put it in another shape) had 
he familiarized himself with the sinuosities and cir- 
cuities of his channel of passage to the celestial 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 



293 



shores that he felt himself entirely qualified to 
sail his own craft; as he would have attempted 
and been perfectly content to do, only for the fact 
that the law of the line, in which he was a share 
holder and by which he voyaged, demanded the 
services of a professional pilot at the helm. To 
preside in the pulpit, to pronounce the benediction, 
to administer the sacraments, must be done, ac 
cording to statute, by the minister, licensed, called, 
and ordained for the discharge of those offices. 

The settlement of Western Pennsylvania may be 
said to date from 1752, when Christopher Gist, with 
eleven other pioneers and their families, chose out 
places and built them cabins at what is known 
as Mount Braddock, lying west of the Youghio- 
gheny, and about midway between Connellsville 
and Uniontown, in Fayette County. The early 
emigrants were exposed to sufferings that made 
their lot a sorely trying one. The forests were 
infested with roving bands of savages, armed with 
knife and rifle, and abroad everywhere for mas 
sacre and plunder. Who stepped beyond the 
threshold of his door went out at the peril of his 
life. Men were slain in the fields ; women, as 
they went to the springs for water, were seized 
and butchered or carried captive into the wil 
derness. Dwellings were burned, property was 
destroyed or stolen, and, in short, disasters and 
misfortunes visited upon him so sweeping and dis 
heartening as might well have served to deter the 

25* 



294 BLA CK ~ R OBES. 

borderer from a new attempt to establish himself 
in so inhospitable a region. But the iron will of 
the Covenanter, used in other lands to maintain 
itself under hardest pressure of adversity, was not 
of a texture likely to yield to the circumstances, 
grievous as they were, of his new situation. 
Crushed to earth, he rose again. Out of the ashes 
of his ruin sprang up himself in certain reappear 
ance, with the finer perfumes of his nature lost, 
perhaps, like a rose subjected to a similar process, 
but with his other perfections purified rather than 
impaired in the palingenesis. Miraculous energy 
such as this was sure to win in the end. The 
savage, wearying at length of his unsuccessful 
efforts at dislodging his enemy, ceased his raids, 
and the pioneer was left in undisturbed possession 
of his home. Hostilities suspended, adventurers 
who had not cared to share the perils of the border 
while they lasted, took heart of the fact, and began 
to follow as their predecessors had led. Emigrant 
after emigrant gathered in; clearings multiplied; 
cabin after cabin was built, until at length, of a 
still summer twilight, house-dog baying to house 
dog, the chain of responses linked across the roll 
ing lands to Old Redstone, to Turkey-foot, to 
Catfish ; and down the valleys of the Youghio- 
gheny and Monongahela to the little " Manor," 
that lay with a destiny in store for it of which the 
loiterers in and about it did not dream wedged in 
between its rivers, a hundred miles below, under 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 295 

the guns of old Fort Pitt. As early as 1763, at the 
close of the French War, the settlements had a 
population of four thousand souls. 

At this time the Presbyterian Church in the East 
began to turn 4ts attention to the West. A meet 
ing of the Synod of New York and Philadelphia, 
down till 1789 the supreme judicatory of the church, 
was held, when, the condition of the " distressed 
frontier inhabitants" being taken into considera 
tion, it was resolved to send out two ministers on 
a tour of inspection among them. The Reverend 
Messrs. Beatty and Brainerd were nominated for 
the mission. According to their report, offered 
before Synod at its next meeting (1764), they were 
providentially prevented from fulfilling their ap 
pointment, " the whole design of the mission being 
entirely frustrated by the breaking out of the In 
dian [Pontiac's] war." Two years later (1766) the 
appointment of Mr. Beatty, with Mr. Duffield for 
his colleague on this occasion, was renewed. The 
savages having abandoned their designs on Fort 
Pitt and retired beyond the Ohio, the journey 
could be taken with entire safety, and the two rev 
erend gentlemen started on it accordingly. At the 
fort they were politely received by Captain Mur 
ray, the commandant, who gave them places at his 
table, provided them with rooms, and furnished 
them with beds, so that, "on the whole," as a his 
torian of the times relates, "they.were as comfort 
able as could be expected." After a flying visit to 



296 BLA CK-ROBES. 

the Muskingum, they returned home, the whole 
tour consuming some six or eight weeks. No par 
ticular results are recorded as growing out of the 
mission. Messrs. Cooper and Brainerd were next 
commissioned for the service, "to- spend at least 
three months on the frontier;" but, in consequence 
of ".discouraging accounts brought in by the inter 
preter, Joseph," they declined to act. Mr. Ander 
son, shortly afterwards, was proposed to take the 
field "for twelve Sabbaths," at twenty shillings a 
Sabbath ; but it does not appear from the records 
that he ever went. Mr. Niles, the next appointee, 
" failed through sickness." Other emissaries, such 
as Finley (1771), who took advantage of the trip 
to buy himself a good tract of land in Fayette 
County, Craighead, and King (1/72), Foster 
(1775) and Carmichael (1776), were ordered out on 
transient visits, certainly one (Finley), and possibly 
two of whom, complied, although without seeming 
to have accomplished anything worthy of men 
tion ; and thus terminated the efforts of the church 
towards the planting of the Faith on the border. 

Late in the year 1776 a little band of journeyers 
might have been seen pursuing patiently the way 
by which the descent, on its western slope, of 
Laurel Hill is made. The track they followed was 
that opened up twenty years before by the unfor 
tunate British officer who, alas ! never lived to 
trace it all back .again, and which was long after 
wards known, in association with that disastrous 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 297 

expedition, as " Braddock's Trail." A man in the 
prime of life, with his oldest .daughter, still a girl, 
behind, and his youngest, a child, pillowed before 
him on a horse, led the way, closely followed by 
his wife, riding like himself and leading still another 
horse, on either side of which, packed snugly in 
creels or baskets slung across the animal and fast 
ened securely to the pack-saddle, were deposited 
the two remaining children of the family. Thus, 
one day in the darksome month of November, de 
scended into the valley of the wilderness JAMES 
POWER, who enjoys the distinction among Presby 
terians of having been first of the Black-Robes of 
their order to establish himself among the settlers 
of the border and "aid in laying the foundations 
of the western Zion." Mr. Power undertook this 
mission not by appointment of the church, but on 
his own motion, prompted to it, without doubt, 
precisely as was any other emigrant of the time, 
by the attractive prospects of the new region, with 
its fields of plenty and of promise, opened up and 
reaching forth invitingly for occupation. Indeed, 
except that we hear somewhat vaguely, of his 
having baptized a child for Mr. Marquis, at Cross 
Creek, in 1778, there is no positive evidence that 
he pursued his profession at all, in any regular 
way, for several years after his arrival. On the 
contrary, the date of his first settlement and ser 
vice as a preacher (at Mount Pleasant) is fixed by 
Dr. McMillan as late as 1781. 



298 BLACK-ROBES. 

In the mean time the congregations of the 
frontier, left altogether uncared for, and beginning 
to realize, as we have seen, the necessity of church 
organization, decided to take up the work and 
carry it through on their own account. Meetings 
were held accordingly. As the result, on the 
2 1st of June, 1779, a Call was made out from the 
" United Congregations at Buffalo and Cross Creek, 
to the Rev. Joseph Smith, a member of the Pres 
bytery of New Castle." The Call set forth "the 
great loss youth sustain by growing up without the 
stated means of grace, the formality likely to spread 
over the aged, and the great danger of ungod 
liness prevailing amongst both : there being divers 
denominations of people among us" (Ommishes, 
or Dunkards, Quakers, and Seventh-day Baptists) 
"who hold dangerous principles, tending to mis 
lead many weak and ignorant people." Submission 
was pledged to the " due exercise of discipline," 
and a salary promised of one hundred and fifty 
pounds, or rather, according to the summing up 
of the subscription paper accompanying the Call, 
something over a hundred and ninety-seven pounds, 
Pennsylvania currency, "money to be made equal 
in value to what it was in the year 1774," before 
the depreciation in that class of paper took place. 
Among others in the list of subscribers occur the 
names of Andrew Poe and Adam Poe, the famous 
brothers whose daring adventures furnish the ma 
terial for many a thrilling story of the border. The 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 



299 



Call was accepted, and, in the year following, Mr. 
Smith, along with his family, planted himself per 
manently within the bounds of one of his parishes. 
Near about the same time the churches at Lower 
Ten-Mile and Upper Ten-Mile, each distant from 
the town of Washington the space intimated by 
their titles, fell under the pastoral care of Thad- 
deus Dodd, who had bought and was cultivating 
a farm in the neighborhood ; while John McMil 
lan, more noted as a " doctrinal examiner and in 
structor " than as a preacher, took charge of the 
congregations at Chartiers and Pigeon Creek. 
With these four reverend gentlemen for its mem 
bers, the old Presbytery of Redstone was organ 
ized (1781), the. creed of the Catechisms established, 
and the general enginery, invented at Edinburgh, 
put in motion, by which backwoodsmen were to be 
trained how, evangelically and soundly, to "luff 
God above all, and their nichbour as themselves." 



II. 

THE PARSON OF SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO. 

A SKETCH of the Presbyterian Black-Robe of 
the olden time, to represent its subject faith 
fully, calls for but little variation in the general 
outline from the picture already presented of the 



300 BLA CK-R OSES. 

layman of his persuasion. Their features in the 
main were the same, save that in the case of the 
officer they were more definitely traced, and be 
trayed a deeper and more determined outline of 
development, than in the subordinate. Passing 
through the same preparatory training, yielding 
under persistent pressure to the same constraints, 
that which, taking its bent accordingly, hardened 
eventually into a habit with the latter and ended 
there, went on, attaining a still more vigorous and 
overshadowing growth, until it matured into a. pro 
fession, with the former. As a teacher, or preacher, 
following his vocation up on a chosen line, it be 
came him of course it would become him to 
magnify that line, to show its superiority over all 
other lines, and by emphatic protestation of his own 
unlimited confidence in the singular and exclu 
sive advantages of it, to win over customers from 
competing routes. Very naturally, as a result, his 
preaching turned chiefly on the points of differ 
ence ; his religion became a religion of reason, and 
himself the orator, conscientious, earnest, obstinate, 
as schoolmen always are, of its philosophy. Mir 
roring that philosophy all the while, his own mind 
caught and held fast the likeness of what it re 
flected, so that at last it became a fixed impres 
sion, felt to the core of his being and picturing all 
the surface of his character. 

As the expounder of its ordinances, the Law was 
with him the subject of absorbing study. It was 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 301 

his meditation all the day; its testimonies were his 
delight. He measured his steps by it; he ordered 
his thoughts according to it; he believed, he 
hoped, he preached, he sung, he prayed by it. 
The straitest among the "most straitest" of 
Jewish sects, in the tight days when the Pharisees 
wore broadest their phylacteries, could not have 
adhered with a truer or more exact fidelity to its 
precepts. Its demands admitted of nothing short 
of plenary and absolute satisfaction. "Thus saith 
the Lord" settled the question, and was an extin 
guisher upon all controversy, a choke-off against 
whatever plea the sufferer under it might propose 
to offer in abatement of the decree pronounced. 
Hence, where the heart of the layman under like 
influences was as flint, that of the Black-Robe be 
came as adamant. The springs of compassion that 
should have had source in his bosom, were dried 
up. " He had no juice but that was verjuice in 
him." 

Of such a mould, one is in no wise surprised, in 
following up his history, to discover that in all 
cases of civil disturbance, when, upon one provo 
cation or another, mutinous men were banded 
together to achieve violently the correction of 
alleged causes of complaint, the disciple of the 
Iconoclast was leadingly identified with the move 
ment. Among the terrible incidents of border 
times, that of the planned attack in the night.on 
a cluster of Indian huts on the Conestoga Creek, 
26 



302 



BLACK-ROBES. 



when the unconscious slumberers were crept in 
upon and " shot, stabbed, and hacked to death," 
and which was but the beginning of a continued 
series of outrages, has a dark and sorrowful promi 
nence. The Paxton Boys who did it, and who, the 
blood of their shedding still red and, reeking on 
their hands, quoted Scripture in justification of its 
doing, were organized in his own parish and from 
among his own parishioners, by one Presbyterian 
preacher, and defended afterwards, when all was 
over, as men "humane, liberal, and moral, nay, re 
ligious," by another. Reverend penmen who have 
written their narratives of olden events, naturally 
anxious to defend the good reputation of the " mis 
sionaries" from the reproach of having had either 
heart or hand in Tom the Tinker's rising, assert 
that no sympathy was felt for the malcontents by 
the Black-Robes ; on the contrary, that they op 
posed the movement " strenuously and success 
fully." The scene of insubordination lay within 
the bounds of what had then become (1794) the 
Synod of Virginia. A party of soldiers on their 
way out to aid in suppressing the insurrection, ar 
rived in the town of Harrisonburg, where, at the 
time, the Synod was in session. The occasion 
seemed to call for an expression of loyalty, and, on 
the motion of one of the members, an address to 
the people was proposed, " inculcating obedience 
to.the laws of the country." The prevailing senti 
ment of the body, as a lively discussion soon 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 



303 



revealed, was that "there were wrongs to be re 
dressed, rather than a rebellion to be suppressed." 
A vote being taken, the address was rejected, 
and Tom the Tinker had the indorsement of 
the Synod. 

In like manner, as respected questions affecting 
the interests of humanity, where Charity which 
knew not law, on the one side, stood advocate 
as against the Law that knew not charity, on the 
other, the attitude of the Presbyterian was just 
what, according to his code and creed, it could 
not but have been. In his own time he was the 
patron, as his church after him was the apologist, 
not to use a stronger term, of slavery, the per 
severing apologist, down until the Samaritans out 
side, with whom it had no dealing, interposed to 
rid the nation of the curse. He " could not say 
that slavery was a sin, without charging the apos 
tles of Christ with conniving at it." So he was 
ready to testify, as half a century later his profes 
sional successors through their General Assembly 
did testify, and as often afterwards, in much less 
moderately chosen terms, was ratified by many a 
divine, who perhaps would scarcely care possi 
bly might blush to own it now. For criminals 
doomed to punishment he manifested no symptom 
of mercy, no showing of compassion, unless the 
offer of his ghostly services at the sharply-closing 
crisis of their career, in extreme cases, might be 
so construed. Penance to the full extent of the 



304 BLACK-ROBES. 

award must be had, without easement, curtailment, 
or commutation, as, in like manner, was de 
manded by the justice-loving Jew of Venice ; as, in 
like manner, has been insisted upon by the clerical 
of his own sect ever since and until now. A move 
ment was made, not many months ago, having in 
view the doing away with capital punishment in 
the State of Pennsylvania. While the project^was 
pending, a paper was prepared and sent forward to 
the legislature from the judicatory of one of the 
branches of the church (the " United Presbyterian"), 
then in session at Pittsburg, praying against the 
proposed change, as prompted by mistaken notions 
of humanity, and as in direct contravention to the 
law not of Christ, although affirmed as " of God," 
but of Moses. 

His ideas of conversion were, of course, in har 
mony with his views of belief. Faith had its phi 
losophy, which the would-be partaker of its benefits 
must be thoroughly drilled in before he could hope 
to enjoy the saving advantage of its exercise. The 
poor sinner of the gospel whose all of confession 
was comprehended in two simple words, sufficient 
as they seem to have been in his day, would not 
have found them equal to the emergency of his 
case under the later schedule of conditions : "Pisteuo 
Kurie /" would scarcely have carried him past the 
pickets, to get where he is gone, by way of the 
Redstone Presbytery. He must have first been 
led to understand that he was made a partaker of 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 305 

the redemption purchased by Christ by the effectual 
application of it to him by the Holy Spirit ; that 
the Holy Spirit applied this redemption by work 
ing faith in him, and thereby uniting him to Christ 
in his Effectual Calling ; that Effectual Calling was 
the work of God's Spirit, whereby, being convinced 
of his* sin and misery, having his mind enlightened 
in the knowledge of Christ, and his will renewed, 
he would be persuaded and enabled to embrace 
Jesus Christ ; and that thus, at length, being Effect 
ually Called, he would partake of justification, 
adoption, and sanctification, the benefits of which 
were peace of conscience, increase of grace, and 
perseverance therein to the end. 

The ''enlightening" operation could be consid 
ered as a success only by the overcoming before 
hand of obstacles, minutely specified and elabor 
ately described by journalists of the time, who 
went through with it, and which were wellnigh 
insuperable. There were the difficulties of the 
" Imputation of Adam's Sin to his Posterity," the 
"Strictness of the Divine Law," the fact that 
" Faith alone was the Condition of Salvation," and 
numerous others over which the seeker must pass 
necessarily, and at which it was inevitable that he 
should stumble, not to mention the experience, 
indispensable besides, of a " Sufficient Weanedness 
from the World," and of the " Mortification of in 
dwelling Corruption," before he could expect to 
gain " evidence of serious and comfortable exer- 
26* 



306 SLA CK-R OSES. 

cise." The satisfaction which followed the enlight 
enment was of its own kind, and quite peculiar to 
the Presbyterian subject. Moses Tinda Tautamy, 
the converted Indian interpreter of Brainerd, in his 
moments of enthusiasm used to testify, " that he 
never felt better pleased than when his heart echoed 
to the soul-humbling doctrines of grace, and -when 
he heard of the absolute sovereignty of God, and 
the salvation of sinners in a way of mere free 
grace." A refreshing experience it must have 
been, certainly. 

A " call " for the ministry, while not claimed as 
having been made through special and miraculous 
revelation of himself by the Almighty, as in the 
case of the Methodist, was still viewed as of super 
natural prompting; the Deity indicating, not in 
an ostensible way, but through the secret con 
sciousness of the subject, his election to the sacred 
office. That God had a choice, and that this one 
or that one out of the multitude of less worthy 
vessels, on some account or other, which often 
puzzled the inquirer to determine, had been par 
ticularly ticketed for distinction, was assumed as a 
matter of course. The election, although usually 
signified to the favored subject himself directly, 
was not unfrequently, however, the result of ar 
rangement entered into with responsible parties 
before, and, in fact, as a condition of, his existence. 
He was made to order, as it were ; expfessly to fill 
a place for which, amonj all the living ready-made, 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 307 

the fitting substitute was not to be found. One of 
the members of the Old Redstone Presbytery thus, 
we are informed, on their pledge that he should 
be dedicated to the ministry, was granted to his 
parents, " like Samuel and John of old," in answer 
to special prayer. 

But the mere " call " was not enough to entitle 
the candidate to an assumption at once of the 
functions of the priestly office. A previous course 
of training, really indispensable to a complete 
mastery of the difficult mysteries of his faith, was 
required ; embracing in its order a thorough study 
of the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages. Con 
sequently, whatever may have been his position 
with regard to information derivable from other 
alien sources, in his own literature, or that of his 
church, he was well schooled. The distinctive 
dogmas of his communion, which he was taught 
to respect as its most sacred properties, were the 
subjects upon which it was his duty to be accu 
rately informed. As the sinners among whom it 
must be his destiny, following along the border, to 
direct his missionary labors, would consist chiefly 
of Quakers, Sabbatarians, Baptists, and Methodists, 
he must not only hold correct views, but be able 
to defend them, of Original Sin, Election, Pedo- 
baptism, and Perseverance. Familiarity with the 
scriptural languages prepared him not merely to 
grapple with doctrine in the naked, as it were, but 
armed him besides with the means of hopelessly 



3 o8 BLA CK-R OBES. 

confounding the adversary with whom he had to 
deal ; for while the Arminian and the Immersionist, 
from frequent hearing of controversies common to 
the time, had caught and could toss back again 
their single stray terms of " original," their Pres 
byterian antagonist in return could overwhelm 
either, or both, with whole sentences of dumb- 
foundering quotation. 

Testimony must be borne to the fact that the 
Presbyterian was always the faithful friend and 
zealous promoter of education. The Methodist him 
self, contemptibly ignorant as he was, conscious 
of it, too, and glorying in it, recognized, in the 
very attempt of affecting to despise, this feature of 
excellence in his Calvinistic rival. Scarcely had 
he planted himself in his new parishes on the 
border, when he began to turn his attention to that 
interest. Rev. Joseph Smith, appreciating the want 
which all the neighborhood experienced, but had 
not the enterprise to remedy, determined to take 
the correction of it in charge. Consulting first his 
wife, and having secured her " cordial acquies 
cence," he set apart a new kitchen which, as an 
appendage to his house, he had just built, and, at 
Upper Buffalo, in 1785, opened in it a classical 
school, the first of the kind in the West, com 
mencing duty with three young men, Messrs. Mc- 
Gready, Porter, and Patterson, for his pupils. In 
17912 the institution was transferred to Canons- 
burg, erected into an academy, and by appoint- 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 309 

ment of the Synod of Virginia, who assumed the 
control of it, left for management in the hands of 
the Rev. Dr. John McMillan. The establishment 
grew in favor, increased in patronage, and acquired 
a wider and wider renown, until, under charter of 
the State, as Jefferson College, in 1802, it took its 
place among the leading seminaries of the land. 

And yet, sorrily irreconcilable with such tutor 
age as it would seem, the Presbyterian Black-Robe 
was decidedly confessedly superstitious. As 
between his own views on this point and those of 
his Wesleyan brother, he made the distinction, 
where it is difficult to detect the difference, that 
whereas the latter claimed the manifestations with 
which he was honored as of express matter-of-fact 
revealment from heaven, his were referable to " a 
strong and firm persuasion" flowing from an ex 
traordinary " liberty and enlargement of soul." The 
Rev. Joseph Smith lay, as was supposed, at the 
point of death. Mr. Edgar, a warm personal friend, 
was hastening to wait upon him in his extremity, 
when, as he approached the house, he met an old 
lady who was considered in her neighborhood as 
a " Mother in Israel." Mr. Edgar's first natural 
inquiry had reference to the condition of his sick 
friend. "He is worse," said the Mother; "but he 
will not die, for the Lord hath told me to-day that 
He will raise him up, and send him out to the 
West to preach the gospel ;" and, continues the 
reverend writer who has made memorandum of 



3io 



BLACK-ROBZS. 



"this singular but well-authenticated fact," he 
began to recover from that very hour. This same 
ministerial gentleman with his wife was returning 
from a walk, one evening, about sundown, when, in 
a wood near the town where they dwelt, " they 
both distinctly heard strains of sweet and melo 
dious music over the tops of the trees, that seemed 
to them to rise and float away into the distant skies." 
It was interpreted " as under a special providential 
direction, and designed, as without doubt it served, 
to encourage and cheer them in the prospect of 
setting out at no distant day, with their family of 
helpless children, to the western wilds." It did not 
weaken the supernatural aspect of the case that a 
band, in a military encampment some distance off, 
was known as a regular custom to serenade the 
closing day ; but it did surprise the historian, as 
he states in a foot-note, that so excellent a writer 
as Dr. Mosheim should sneeringly speak of "the 
pious sort of mistake" that Christians sometimes 
make in interpreting a " happy coincidence" into 
a special interposition of Providence. A son of 
the Rev. James Finley, one of a party of twenty 
men, was waylaid and attacked by a band of sav 
ages. A sharp skirmish took place. Finley, the 
force to which he belonged being worsted and 
beginning to retreat, found, when he wanted to fire 
as he ran, that his gun would not "go off," stopped 
to pick his flint, and, doing so, fell behind his com 
panions. An Indian leveled his rifle at him, but 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 311 

before he could fire was luckily shot down. A 
few moments later, by a happy dodge, he succeeded 
in throwing one of his comrades between himself 
and a pursuing red-skin, and so escaped, but at the 
expense of the life of the comrade, who was in 
stantly tomahawked by the enemy. At the same 
hour, as a comparison of time instituted afterwards 
made to appear, the father of young Finley, three 
hundred miles off, felt a "strange and unaccount 
able impression" that his son was in imminent 
danger of some sort, and immediately "betook 
himself to intense and agonizing prayer" for the 
boy. He continued this exercise for some time, 
until at length " he felt relieved and comforted, as 
though the danger was past." Finley, the senior, 
regarded the escape as a special providence. How 
the father of the son who was elbowed back and 
got brained instead esteemed it, we are not in 
formed. 

After the expiration of his academical term, the 
pupil was transferred to some minister, under whose 
private instruction he pursued his strictly theologi 
cal studies; Dr. McMillan's lectures being his text 
book, with such collateral authorities besides as 
the clerical libraries, within reach of borrowing, 
afforded. This system of private tuition a neces 
sity of the time had its advantages. The student 
enjoyed the undivided care and attention of the 
teacher. What was required, by olden usage in 
the church, to be learned, he had to learn, and to 



312 BLACK-ROBES. 

learn well. There could be no shirking of duty, 
no skipping over of half- mastered tasks. Ready 
to lend assistance when assistance was needed, the 
instructor, nevertheless, expected, and taught his 
disciple to expect, that the burden of achievement 
should rest on his own shoulders, and that if he 
would bear him worthily up under the pressure, 
and carry him palmily through, it must be mainly 
by his own efforts. The consequence was that the 
close of his apprenticeship found him well prepared 
for service, and possessed, very naturally, of. the 
fullest confidence in his own sufficient ability to 
assume, and capably to wield, the responsibilities 
of his office. But the system had its drawback. 
Presbyterianism was not born in a manger, nor 
saluted in its cradle with the songs that angels are 
wont to employ at the Nativities over which they 
rejoice. Sprung from a conjunction of the tem 
poral with the spiritual, its character discovered a 
pretty evenly-balanced share of the family marks 
of both. If it appeared with an olive-branch in one 
hand, it came armed with a sword-blade in the 
other. Its seel in church became its party in state, 
for one, or the other, or both of which, it could 
either fight or pray, as inclination prompted or as 
the contingency invited. Politics and "persuasion" 
were woof and warp of one piece, and the whole 
cloth was its religion. That its " professors," 
therefore, and particularly its preachers, moved 
by both these powerfully constraining influences, 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 313 

should have manifested a devotion perhaps with 
out a parallel certainly without its like to their 
creed, is not astonishing. Time did not, neither 
could change of scene or surrounding, of country 
or of circumstance, alter the cast of their con 
science, or qualify their conviction, or modify their 
confession. As in the beginning, so to the end, 
they were " True Blue" all the time. The master- 
graduate taught, and the student learned: learn 
ing, in his turn he taught again ; so that, handed 
down from generation to generation, the theology 
that was promulged in the Nether Bow was per 
petuated in the study of the Redstone Presbyter. 
As the result, the pupil came out from his cloister 
well disciplined, truly, in the tenets of his church, 
but so impregnated with, and habituated to, its 
" doctored" atmosphere as to doubt, if not disbe 
lieve entirely in, the presence of a healthy, life- 
supporting presence at all in any other. 

Thus he was outfitted for duty, and so, commis 
sioned, went he forth to fill his professional place 
in the service, a redoubtable champion surely, as 
his Methodist cotemporary was willing to concede, 
but view-contracted, arrogant, and intolerant, as the 
same authority, by way of complement, and with 
an emphasis decidedly more to his relish, was also 
prompt to testify. 

27 



314 



BLACK-ROBES. 



III. 

THE SABBATH-DAY, AND HOW IT WAS SANCTIFIED. 

BEFORE the Black-Robe had thought it pru 
dent to attempt a permanent settlement among 
them, the borderers, not willing to await his coming 
at the expense of a total deprivation of the privi 
leges of worship, had long been accustomed to 
observe the stated assemblings of themselves to 
gether for " exercise " on the Sabbath. These 
" societies," as they were called, were held in the 
private dwellings of such families as chose to 
offer the accommodation, alternating from one to 
another in regular rotation, and were conducted 
usually by an elder ; the ordinary routine of ser 
vices being followed, except that a select reading 
of some appropriate sort took the place of a ser 
mon, and that the delivery of the benediction, as 
well as,, of course, the administration of the sacra 
ments, was dispensed with. Houses of worship 
began to be erected perhaps as early as 1790. In 
their construction they differed in no particular 
from the cabins of the settlers, only in the re 
spect that they were somewhat larger. A few 
hours' labor was the cheap cost of their erection. 
Timber necessary for the purpose had but to be 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 315 

felled, cut the desired length, notched at the ends, 
laid, log upon log, in place, covered with clap 
boards, and the sun that at its rising saw the axe 
laid at the roots of the standing trees out of which 
the work was to be made, witnessed at its setting 
the laying of the last " weight-pole" that kept the 
clap-boards of the roof in position and finished 
the job. For ordinary Sabbath-day use the meet 
ing-house answered the purpose well enough. In 
summer-time, when the heat was oppressive within 
doors, and on sacramental and other special occa 
sions, when the attendance was unusually large, 
services were conducted in the open air. Nearby 
the meeting-house, on the slope of a gently-rising 
hill, a plot of ground was marked off, from which 
the underbrush was cleared away and the trees cut 
down, with the exception of here and there an oak 
or a maple of imposing growth, left to lift its wide- 
spreading branches as a shelter against tbe sun. 
The space "thus opened was laid with logs, or slabs, 
arranged in parallel order across the ascent of the 
slope, and designed to serve as seats for the con 
gregation. At the lower extremity of this area a 
platform was erected, six or eight feet wide by ten 
or twelve in length, and about four from the ground 
at the front. This platform was boarded up nearly 
breast-high above its floor, entrance to it being had 
by means of a short flight of steps and through a 
doorway left open at one side, while the whole was 
covered with a roofing of slabs. Intended as a 



BLACK-ROBES. 



pulpit for the minister, this structure went by the 
name, along the border, of the " Tent,"- a title still 
preserved as applied to one of the oldest churches, 
near Uniontown,in Fayette County, for many years, 
and down to the date of his death, under the pas 
toral care of that amiable gentleman and most loyal 
Presbyterian, the Rev. Dr. A. G. Fairchild. 

The meeting-houses were about as comfortless 
as it was possible to have them. The walls, some 
times "chunked and daubed," sometimes not, 
allowed of a free passage of air between the logs, 
the bitter blasts of which, on winter-days, told with 
tingling effect on the ears, the noses, and the un 
gloved ringers of the worshipers. Stoves were not 
permitted in the building. Physicians objected to 
them on hygienic principles, while professors op 
posed them as devices of the devil, designed to pro 
duce a feeling of ease in Zion, and thus to rob the 
believer of the benefit of a flesh-afflicting but soul- 
chastening experience. Certain, among the women 
especially, of the congregation, either doubting 
the efficacy of the penance, "cross" they called 
it, or scarcely tough enough to endure it, and 
willing to risk the consequences, were accustomed 
to heat stones in the nearest cabin fires, or fill jugs 
with boiling water, and to convey them clandes 
tinely, carefully wrapped in a fold of their gowns, to 
their seats, where laid upon the floor they served 
to keep the feet warm at least, let the rest of the 
person fare as it might. For ten or twelve years 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 



317 



this singular practice was persisted in; and when 
at length a change was proposed, and' by a close 
vote of the congregations the use of fire was 
formally authorized, it was at the cost of an oppo 
sition so violent as to threaten, while it lasted, the 
complete disruption of the churches. 

No Sabbath-day duty was more strictly enjoined 
upon the people than that of regular and prompt 
attendance at public worship. As the appointed 
hour of service drew nigh, they might be seen filing 
in along the paths that led Tent-ward through the 
woods, some afoot, others on horseback, the 
riders, if fathers, with an elder son or daughter, 
sometimes both, mounted behind them, or, if 
mothers, studded all around with the smaller 
family jewels, a babe in the arms, last year's twins 
in creels, one on each side of the " beast" bestrad- 
dled, and, perched en croupe, the promising three- 
year-old of the household closely hugging the 
maternal waist, as a dependence both needed and 
relied upon to maintain the mastery of his situa 
tion. The husband rode in advance of the wife. 
Arrived at the outskirts of the sanctuary precinct, 
or edge of the uncleared woods, the former dis 
mounted, and, after fastening his horse with a tie of 
the raw-hide hitching-strap attached to its bridle, 
doubly knotted and carefully tested, to a sapling or 
the lower branch of a tree, turned to look to the 
making fast, in like manner, of that of the latter, 
who, meanwhile, drawing rein at the side of a 
27* 



318 BLACK-ROBES. 

stump for the easier execution of the task, had, 
alone and unassisted, succeeded in safely landing 
herself and the entire of her infant impedimenta in 
charge. Here, too, the pedestrians the younger 
folk generally of the settlements halted as they 
came, the men ostensibly to interchange neigh 
borly greetings with each other, but more likely, 
as observing ones among the elders shrewdly sus 
pected, to cast sly glances askant at the girls, who, 
having walked barefoot from their homes, to save 
the wear and tear of leather, took advantage of the 
partial screen afforded by the bushes to draw on 
the stockings and shoes with which, wrapped up 
in handkerchiefs and carried under their arms, for 
wearing at " meeting," as the mannerly custom 
was, they had not failed to come provided. 

The ascent of the minister into the pulpit was 
the signal for the congregation to assemble. So 
berly and solemnly the members advanced, the men 
and the wftmen falling into separate lines, and, with 
very much the air of prisoners moving to their 
doom, marching down the aisle or passage dividing 
the auditory, these filing to the right and those to 
the left, for it was not lawful that the sexes should 
worship together, and edging in between logs as 
they went, until all were seated. Among the 
attendants, however, were not a few who preferred 
to decline the offered accommodations of the 
sanctuary. These were composed of the less rev 
erent youths of the parishes, upon whom the reins 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 319 

of discipline were not so tightly drawn at home as 
they should have been, much to the detriment of 
their proper deportment abroad, and of a sort of 
Arab ^lass wandered in from the mountains, men 
with unshorn beards, shaggy heads, and faces hard 
as iron and brown as its rust, who, disliking close 
quarters, were not to be drawn into a crowd when 
free elbow-room could be had outside of it. Hold 
ing back, near enough to hear and to see, but clear 
of the consecrated limits, they stationed themselves, 
leaning indolently against the trees or lolling at 
half-length on the ground. Both classes all of 
the one, and many, that is, of the other came 
furnished with powder-horns and bullet-pouches, 
and armed with rifles ; the latter, because it was 
the regular habit of their lives, from which they 
never deviated, and the former, really, perhaps, to 
be ready for any chance shot that might offer at a 
wild turkey or a deer on the way, but professedly for 
the more orthodox purpose of protecting the con 
gregation against surprise from the Indians, who, 
by the way, so far as we are informed, never offered 
to interfere with them. In fact, if they had been so 
inclined, much the easier and safer plan, as well as 
the one more in accordance with their style of 
doing things, would have been to waylay the 
church-goers singly and separately on the road to 
and from rather than in a body, watchful and ex 
pectant, at the Tent. 

After a short introductory invocation, the exer- 



3 20 BLACK-ROBES. 

cises of the day were opened .with the singing of a 
psalm. Recited first at length from the pulpit, the 
task was taken up immediately after by the pre 
centor, or clerk, an officer second perhaps, but 
only second, in importance to the minister, who 
occupied a seat, constructed for his exclusive use, 
right under the sacred desk. The stanzas were 
delivered line by line by this officer, who had his 
professional way of doing it, commencing at a 
pitch perhaps a fifth above the natural key of his 
voice, drawling out the syllables in a sort of sing 
song recitative, and so regulating the intonation 
as to leave the last-spoken word at the pitch pre 
cisely with that of the note next in order, whatever 
it might be, in the suspended melody. So nicely 
were the two renderings dovetailed into each other 
that they might have passed as solo and refrain, or 
chant and response, of one musical performance. 
In his selection of an air the clerk had a dozen out 
of which to choose. These were known as the 
"Twelve Tunes of David," copies of which, care 
fully produced in angular "characters variously 
shaped to indicate the different notes (fa, sol, la, mi) 
of the gamut, and elaborately illuminated as to the 
text, were among the properties of all competent 
precentors. To these melodies the faithful adhered, 
and to the exclusion of all others, with scrupulous 
fidelity. Later down a few years, when, captivated 
by their novelty, some of the more daring among 
the leaders undertook to introduce certain "fugue 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 321 

tunes," caught up from emigrant Yankees passing 
through on their way to Marietta, like " Corona 
tion," for instance, which, by the way, became im 
mensely popular soon after, the attempt excited 
intense opposition, and for some time, like the stove- 
question, threatened seriously a downright schism 
in the churches. The first plunge into. the melody 
was made by the clerk alone, the voices of the 
congregation dropping in one upon another in 
after-succession with an effect which, while it 
increased the volume, so retarded the progress of 
the music that it required the fullest exertion of 
the lung-power of the leader, always chosen with 
special reference to his superior qualities of chest, 
to keep the chorus up to time, or anything like it. 
The style of singing was unique. The rendering 
of the lines proper was prefaced by a snatch of 
nasal " voluntary" so, for lack of a better term, to 
distinguish it closely resembling the prolonged 
sounding of the closing consonants of the present 
participle, ng, and not unlike the drone of a bag 
pipe before the stops are operated upon. Fairly 
plunged into the text, the task of struggling 
through went on, word mortising into word, note 
gliding through vague and wayward flights into 
note, until the end of the passage was reached. 
Usually, almost uniformly, in fact, at first, the con 
gregation, men, women, and children, all sang in 
unison, following in various octaves the air of the 
melody. Now and then a clerk, happily possessed 



322 BLACK-ROBES. 

of more accomplished parts than distinguished the 
general, would veer off into the base; but the diver 
sion was not often attempted, arrd was prudently 
limited to the few closing notes of the verse ; when, 
in the case of misadventure, ticklishly probable, in 
the experiment, the stop of the strain would cleverly 
cover up the failure. Later on, about the time of 
the introduction of the fugue tunes, the singing of 
"parts" began to be introduced ; in the apportion 
ment under the new order of arrangement, the men 
sustaining the air, and the women, or detachments 
of them, serving on the " tribble," answering to what 
is known in these later days as the tenor. Parceled 
off in this way, the effect maybe more readily con 
ceived than described of the singing of a hymn like 
Mear or Dundee, the burden of it borne by the 
multitudinous baritone of one side of the congre 
gation, and the accompaniment, in soprano, by the 
other; the voices of these latter soaring at a giddy 
height among the " fifths" (making their escape 
chiefly through the nose), and maintaining that 
elevation, with as little variation as a decent 
respect for the harmonies permitted, down to the 
very close, quieting lingeringly and reluctantly 
into silence even then. 

The psalm ended, a " portion of Scripture" was 
read, selected usually either from the Old Testament 
or the Epistles of the New, each verse of the chapter 
so chosen, in its order, undergoing a close analysis 
and critical exposition, rather more to the edifica- 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 



323 



tion than to the entertainment of the congregation. 
This exercise was fallowed by a prayer, particu 
larly worthy of mention on account of its length, 
often consuming thirty minutes or more in the 
delivery; its breadth, covering all subjects con 
ceivably within the scope of desire, except those, 
perhaps, that appear in " Our Father" in the Sermon 
on the Mount ; and its depth, penetrating to the 
very bottom of profoundest doctrines, and defining 
according to Westminster science, and making 
clear so as to come within the comprehension of 
their Author, the dark and difficult significance of 
his own mysteries. After the prayer came the 
second psalm of the service. This praise-offering 
differed from the first in that, as read from the 
sacred desk, and before being taken hold of by 
the clerk, it was subjected, sentence by sentence, 
to a searching note-and-comment process by the 
preacher. The special aim of this labor was to 
show the " evangelical" character of David the 
Hebrew, and to illustrate how eminently appro 
priate for devotional purposes in a Christian meet 
ing-house was the psalmody composed for priestly 
rehearsal in a Jewish synagogue. 

But the sermon, next in order, was the feature 
of the service. If the people felt it, as they evi 
dently did, to be so, so, still more evidently, did 
the minister. Having the scriptural authority to 
that effect, it was his duty, as well as his delight, 
"to magnify his office;" and as the sermon, best, 



3 24 BLA CK-R OES. 

if not alone, of the round of exercises, afforded 
a ready range for the purpose, he made the most 
of the chances, in it and attending it, to do that 
justice to himself and his profession. After the 
singing of the psalm, the pause of a moment or 
two, usually occurring between performances, was 
allowed to lengthen out materially, the parson 
consuming the interval, very much at his leisure, 
and with a quiet show of preparation that was 
very impressive, in turning over the leaves of his 
Bible, dog-earing a page here and there for con 
venience of reference, or producing and assorting 
his notes, or (although this was less ostentatiously 
done) in fortifying the inner man with a draft of 
sufficient cordial from the little brown jug that 
seldom was wanting in its own appropriate nook 
behind the breast-board of the pulpit. These pre 
liminaries disposed of, to the desired effect of 
stimulating the attention and whetting the ex 
pectation of his listeners, he arose to his feet, 
stripped himself of his coat, if the day happened 
to be warm, and in his shirt-sleeves stepped for 
ward to his place at the desk. Inviting the atten 
tion of his hearers, he then announced his text, 
indicating, first, the book, chapter, and verse, and 
again, the more certainly to impress it upon the 
congregation, the verse, chapter, and book, re 
versely, where it was to be found. Promptly, in 
return, each member of the flock produced his 
own private copy of the Bible, with which he 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 325 

always came provided, and, with a sound like the 
rustle of leaves stirred by a summer wind, or the 
flutter of birds' wings as a flight of them is about 
to light among the branches, turned over the pages 
in search of the passage, to make sure that it was 
rendered true to the letter in the reading. As 
among the sacred writers, the lawgiver and the 
prophets stood first in the esteem of ministers, the 
epistolary authors next, and the evangelists, rather 
distantly, last. The sayings of our Lord, as gathered 
from his lips and as recorded in the books of 
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, were of account 
certainly, but of account only as they tallied, or 
could be made to seem to tally, with the utter 
ances of Moses or the mystical vaticinations of 
Isaiah, or as they stood the test of the criticisms 
of Paul. Out of these higher authorities, there 
fore, it was the favorite custom of the preacher to 
choose his subject of discourse. In the treatment 
of his topic he followed the old regular routine of 
his fathers in the profession, setting forth the 
same proposition in the same terms, pursuing the 
same line of argument in the same methodical 
manner, quoting the same proofs in defense of the 
same positions, and arriving, through the same 
series of heads, sub-heads, inferences, and practical 
observations, at the same conclusions ; very much 
in the same manner, with the same degree of anima 
tion, and to the same convincing, and about the 
same spirit-cheering, effect that would have at- 
28 



326 BLA CK-R OSES. 

tended the attempt, had it been made, at a solution 
of a question in calculus, or one of the more intri 
cate of the problems of Euclid. To go through with 
all this called for time, so that, although one and 
a half and two hours sometimes sufficed, three 
were not regarded as an extraordinary allowance 
for the performance The audience lingered out 
the siege with more than the patience that could 
have been expected. If the elders of the congre 
gation, when their backs, which were without sup 
port, grew weary, and the crook'd hinges of their 
knees became cramped from long sitting, rose to 
their feet during the service, it was only tojelax 
their joints with a walk to window or door, if in 
the meeting-house, or simply to stand for sake 
of change, if on the Tent-ground, resting them 
for a time against sill or jamb in the one case, or 
leaning, still listeningly and devoutly, with palms 
planted, hand over hand, on the knotted heads of 
their stout hickory walking-sticks, in the other. 
The younger hearers kept up a wakeful attention 
as long as they could, the better to sustain them 
at it nibbling the while at shreds and ends of 
slippery-elm bark, peppermint, and sassafras-root, 
or gnawing at bits of biscuit. But even these 
expedients spent their virtue ere long, when, after 
many a nod dropped more and more decisively, 
followed by as many a less and less alarmed start 
of recovery, the drowsy influence prevailed, and 
the captured senses settled into a repose that was 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 327 

thenceforth to know no balk nor break through 
all the dull while the sermon lasted. The women, 
less restless than the men, if not quite so attentive, 
sat the performance out with the perseverance of 
saints. If the day proved warm and the atmosphere 
close, they employed their folded handkerchiefs 
as fans, or, unprovided with those conveniences, 
the leafy extremities of the slender twigs which 
they had used on their way to " meeting" to brush 
off the flies from the necks and the flanks of their 
horses. But for this exercise as a counter-recourse, 
the influences together of weather and "word" 
would have been insupportable, and the strongest 
of flesh, the most willing of spirit, must have sunk 
exhausted under them. Except the mothers not 
a few, nor far between-times freshly in that way 
among them ; in which case tired nature found a 
sufficient diversion in the frequently-recurring at 
tentions required by their nurslings, whose crav 
ings and whose necessities had to be cared for, of 
course, as they were, right openly, and without 
a thought of impropriety, in the presence of the 
whole congregation. 

Meanwhile a spirit of impatience, in smart 
contrast with the forced repose of the people, 
began to manifest itself among the "beasts," 
standing hitched in close neighborhood to each 
other, along the outer lines of the Tent-ground. 
Fagged by the toils of the Sabbath-day's journey 
that brought them there ; with hanging heads, and 



328 BLACK-ROBES. 

drooping ears, and eyes half closed ; leaning their 
weight on three legs for the relief of the remaining 
one, loosely depending and resting at ease on the 
toe, as it were, of its hoof; showing scarcely a sign 
of life, except an occasional quiver of the skin on 
flank or foreshoulder, to shake off the flies that 
swarmed about them when they became too an 
noying, the drowsy animals had stood out the 
opening services in a well-behaved and most or 
thodox manner. But rest, in due time, wrought its 
work, and, rousing from the dreamy, indolent mood 
into which they had settled, the creatures, refreshed, 
were now themselves again. Wearying soon from 
idleness, as before from exercise, they became rest 
less and fretful; switching their tails at the trouble 
some insects whose stinging assaults were no longer 
to be passively endured, stamping their feet, and 
swinging round their heads with great stretches, 
sometimes to the very shank of a hind-leg, lifted to 
shorten the effort, to bring their teeth to bear re- 
lievingly, or their noses, upon some particularly 
irritated spot of attack. Hitched to neighboring 
trees, pairs of cross-grained geldings, on terms of 
forbearance hitherto, seeming to have discovered 
sudden cause of misunderstanding, threw back 
their ears, made dashes with open teeth at each 
other, and, finding their career checked by the 
tightened tether before quite within nipping dis 
tance, reversed their tactics, and, turning rear to 
rear, with angry screams joined skirmish with their 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 329 

heels. Mares, appearing to have awakened all at 
once to the consciousness of their absence, began 
to call, in tones indicative of alarm, for their off 
spring. Prompt at the summons, the colts, bleat 
ing as they ran, came racing from abroad in the 
woods, whither they had wandered ; in the confu 
sion attending the common rush, making for the 
wrong dams, and meeting with such repulses, when 
they began to make themselves at home, as to send 
them skipping away, their mouths, the while, going 
through the motions, but without the voice too 
completely shocked by surprise to find it of a 
protest at the unmotherly treatment. Stallions, 
stationed prudently at more distant posts, caught 
the contagion of excitement, champed their bridle- 
bits, pawed the ground madly with their feet, 
tramped in circles round and round the saplings 
to which they were tied, winding themselves up, 
and then unwinding back again, in the process, 
leaped, now with plunges that made their straight 
ened raw-hide fastenings twang to cracking fairly 
under the strain, now stood with lifted crest in 
breathless pause, now gave vent to their suspended 
respiration in a blast through their nostrils, sharp 
and shrill as the shriek of a trumpet, and now 
crowned the proceeding with a neigh, long, and 
fierce, and loud, that sped pealing and reverberating 
abroad till the forest rang in all its shelters, far and 
near, with the echo. 

Amid all these untoward circumstances, the 
28* 



330 SLA CK-R OSES. 

minister, wholly unconscious, or at all events re 
gardless, of them, proceeded with his discourse. It 
was the sinner's own affair whether he would hear 
or whether he would forbear; but as for himself, 
it was his business to preach, and, like a faithful 
servant, once entered upon his task he was bound 
to see it through. Holding fast to the line of his 
argument, step by step plodding along he followed 
it up. If the sound of his voice happened to be lost 
for a time, swallowed up by a wave of tumult rolled 
in from the disturbed verge of the camp, no matter ; 
a proof missed, more or less, of the proposition, for 
instance, that "all mankind sinned in Adam and 
fell with him in his first transgression," left the 
elucidation of it none the less complete on that 
account. Told over and over so often, his people 
had heard the story to little purpose if now they 
were to lose the chain of it by the simple dropping 
of a link. And so the work went on, slowly, steadily, 
surely, one great section of it after another dis 
sected, desiccated, and, as was proper with the meat 
of doctrine, made dried-beef of to insure its keep 
ing, ere laid at length away; and so, like the 
"going going gone" of an auctioneer, followed 
the warning calls, delivered with the due delays 
between, of, " In the last place, finally, in conclu 
sion," when with the closing thump of "Amen!" the 
hammer fell, and the sermon was ended. A prayer, 
long enough, but brief compared with the one that 
went before it, succeeded, followed by a psalm, 



THE PRESS YTERIAN. 3 3 1 

after which the benediction was pronounced, and 
the morning service closed. 

Dismissed, the congregation slowly retired in 
close procession from their seats, scattering, when 
quite outside the precincts of the sanctuary, in 
various directions. Some went to look after their 
horses, to see that they had not slipped their head 
stall, and that their fastenings were secure; or, 
perhaps, to " piece" them on nubbins of corn, 
brought along in their pockets for that purpose, 
just as on the same grain, ground, and baked into 
" dodgers," did the mothers their children, and 
from the same tenderly considerate motive. Some 
withdrew in pairs, or groups of three and four, and, 
seeking the shade of a tree, whittled with their 
heavy-bladed, horn-handled jack-knives at the 
tough knots on their walking-sticks, talking the 
while of the weather and the crops; of the flocks 
and herds that filled their pastures, their hogs, 
their cattle, and their horses, and, as likely as 
not, going through the preliminary negotiations of 
a "swap," which to-morrow or next day would see 
consummated, before all was over. Some retired 
to the graveyard, picking their course along path 
less ways, wading knee-deep in heavy, rank grasses, 
and forcing a passage through thickets of thorn and 
patches of blackberry-bushes to the spot of their 
search, where, pausing and leaning over the rough 
stone planted to mark the place, they paid their 
tribute of sorrow to the memory of some loved one, 



332 BLA CK-R OBES. 

husband, or wife, or child, whose all of what 
once had been left and that was its ashes lay 
buried there. Women in couples wandered off, 
slowly strolling, and pausing ' often on various 
trifling pretenses, to reach a leaf, standing on 
tiptoe to do it, or stooping to pluck a flower, but 
quickening their paces as the straggling bushes 
intervened to veil their retreat, until tlu utmost 
limits of the clearing were passed, and themselves, 
hid from view, were lost amid the cover of the 
copses. But the centre of general attraction was 
the "Spring." Thither, sooner or later during the 
"intermission," all were accustomed to repair. 
Those that thirsted drank of the water, the more 
attentive youths of the flock standing, gourd or 
earthen bowl in hand, in turn at the fountain, and 
Dispensing the element to the rest in waiting, 
blushing to the brows when the customer happened 
to be one, young and fair, of the opposite sex, her 
self crimsoning to the bosom in return as she trem 
blingly received the proffered vessel from his hand. 
Lingering as they came and drank, the visitors 
tarried, so that ere long quite a large proportion of 
the congregation was assembled at the spot. Seated 
on stones or reclined on the grass rested the elders, 
puffing their pipes, and through the smoke looking 
dreamily on, while their sons and daughters, in 
separate companies that would not mingle, and yet 
could not keep apart, found pastime, the former 
in delving amid the soil for roots of sassafras and 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 333 

calamus, and the latter, perchance, in gathering 
sprays of spearmint, tramping the beds in which it 
grew, and crushing the plants as they did so, till 
all the air around was odorous with their perfume. 
The blast of a horn blown from the Tent by 
the clerk, as the man naturally presumed to be 
best in wind for it, gave signal when the half-hour 
of intermission was up. At the call the worshipers, 
laying aside all levities alas for the levities ! of 
walk and conversation, resumed their serious de 
portment, and in solemn procession took up their 
return to the sanctuary. Again were they to be 
seen seated in their places. Again the minister 
mounted the pulpit, stooped to a kiss of the little 
brown jug, and rose to his place at the desk. Again 
psalm, prayer, and sermon were delivered in their 
order, but with less of prolixity now ; and again, 
as the sun's rays fell slanting down through the 
tree-tops on the summits of the hills that lay 
towards his setting, was heard the welcome end-all 
to the exercise, long delayed, but reached at last, 
of the benediction. Meeting was over. The last 
duty of the day's dismal catalogue was discharged, 
and with a sense of relief which it would have been 
rank crime against heaven to confess, even to their 
own consciences, but which Was felt nevertheless, 
the worshipers scattered towards their various 
homes, thanking God in their hearts, though the 
devil may have had the credit of the suggestion, 
that another Sabbath with its "sanctifications" was 



334 



BLACK-ROBES. 



gone, and that a good week's allowance was theirs, 
ere its next return, of rest, rest that was real in 
comparison, rest at the axe, the plow, and the 
mattock ; chopping in the forest, furrowing in the 
field, or grubbing in the clearing. 



IV. 



THE LONG SABBATH, AND THE GREAT BUFFALO 
SACRAMENT. 

THE Great Day, holiest among the hallowed 
of the year, and honored with special observ 
ance by the Presbyterians of the border, was the 
" Long Sabbath," as it was popularly called, or the 
Sabbath of the Sacrament. The strong right arm 
of him who led, preparing the way of the " New 
Departure," had made bare itself with mighty 
effect to the lopping oiT of idolatrous superfluities 
of worship, so that his followers now, of the round 
of ceremonials that used to give variety and lend 
attraction to a Lord's-day's services, had but this 
single spared, sadly-mutilated remnant left. But 
as a mother, bereft of all beside of her offspring, 
hugs to her bosom with a therefore more jealous 
liking the darling that only remains, so the Pres 
byterian clung to his Communion the one Set- 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 335 

time, the sole Solemn Feast, that he could call his 
own with the concentrated whole of his soul^e 
devotion. , 

The Sacrament, as the common rule of the time, 
was celebrated but once a year. A minister had 
usually, however, two congregations under his 
care, so that, having to provide for the spiritual 
necessities of both, the ordinance occurred twice 
under his administration once to each parish 
during that term. The ceremonies of the season 
lasted through five days. The opening one 
Thursday was consecrated to fasting, humiliation, 
and prayer, and was observed, especially in the 
first particular, with scrupulous fidelity. It was 
the New-Dispensation " Day of Atonement" bor 
rowed bodily from the Old; and not Moses himself 
could have honored it more strictly in accordance 
with his own law, save in the offer of the offering 
by fire, perhaps, of the young bullock, the ram, 
and the seven lambs, than did his loyal follower 
on the border. The sermon of the day was long 
beyond ordinary; prayerfully prepared, and par 
ticularly, as an exhibit of the "grounds and 
reasons" for the fast should be ; and powerfully 
adapted, so the assurance comes down to us, as a 
strengthening exercise towards making more suc 
cessfully the ascension of the mount of ordinances 
on the ensuing Sabbath. Friday was not so de 
voutly observed. Few, except those who intended 
to "take the sacrament," went to meeting, the rest 



336 BLA CK-R OSES. 

remaining at home and pursuing, but only with 
a- half-hearted sort of energy, their usual labors. 
Saturday followed in the same way, the " seculars" 
doubtfully on duty at work, and the saints having 
the worship to themselves. After the preaching 
on this day, the session of the church was accus 
tomed to meet to examine applicants for member 
ship and to distribute " tokens" among those that 
were entitled to commune. These "tokens" were 
small pieces of flattened lead, about the size of 
the copper coin, then in circulation, known as the 
"half-cent," and stamped, to make them valid, 
with the initials B. C, for instance, indicating 
"Buffalo Church" of the congregation to which 
they belonged. The " token" was regarded for 
many years as an "element" excellent of virtue, 
and quite as essential to an orthodox celebration 
of the Supper as the bread and the wine. It went 
into disuse finally, as later and somewhat more 
liberal generations sprang up to take the place of 
their fathers, but never while a gray-beard of the 
old stock lingered to protest against the innova 
tion. 

The Sabbath, however, was The Day, by emi 
nent distinction, of the group, and enjoyed the 
special honors of the season accordingly. Not 
only did all the members of the .congregation, con 
verted and unconverted, make it a point to be in 
attendance at the meeting-house, but distant fellow- 
believers from other parishes, ten, fifteen, twenty 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 337 

miles away, gathered in, so that the exercises, 
opening half an hour earlier than usual, witnessed, 
when begun, such an assemblage as the sanctuary 
usually had scarcely the capacity to accommodate. 
The Black-Robe in charge had always from two or 
three to half a dozen of his ministerial brethren to 
assist him at the services ; while the clerk, extend 
ing his invitations on a similar scale of liberality, 
not to be behind in supporting the dignity of his 
office, was to be seen surrounded by half the 
precentors of the Presbytery. The offering of the 
introductory prayer was attended to by one of the 
reverend aids ; the reading of the psalm, by another. 
The delivery of the discourse, or Action Sermon, as 
it was called, devolved upon the pastor. A third 
assistant afterwards took up the exercise of Fencing" 
the Tables, or, as with propriety it might be termed, 
" Boxing the Compass" of the creed. This was a 
performance preliminary to the dispensation of the 
Sacrament, in which, taking the Ten Command 
ments for his text, the preacher entered upon an 
exposition that, beginning with the first, was sus 
tained the rest, one by one, following in their 
order until the list entire was disposed of. Emi 
nent account was made of the decalogue as covering 
the whole ground of qualification for church-mem 
bership, and so rigorously were the tables "fenced" 
in the enumeration of the sins forbidden in each 
commandment, that it was commonly remarked 
2-) 



338 BLA CK-R OSES. 

by the profane (and without dissent, either, on the 
part of the reverend biographer who chronicles the 
fact), that " the preacher never stopped till he had 
solemnly debarred from the ordinance every one 
of his people, and himself to boot." 

These preparatory services discharged, the bap 
tismal ceremonies came next. All the children 
of believers born within the year, to the very 
youngest, where it was possible for the parents to 
appear with them, were expected to be present to 
undergo the rite. A long dissertation preceded 
the "sprinkling," in which were dwelt upon, par 
ticularly, the points in controversy between the 
more prominent sects of the time : first, that is, 
as to whether infants were proper subjects of 
the ordinance ; and second, whether the mode in 
vogue among Presbyterians of applying it was the 
scriptural one ; both of which were affirmatively 
demonstrated to the entire satisfaction of all con 
cerned. It was not only recommended to the 
parents at the same time, but required of them by 
solemn vow, that they should conscientiously per 
form all their duty in the religious training and 
nurturing of their children ; especially attending to 
their instruction in that faultless digest of only 
genuine doctrine, the Shorter Catechism. As a 
test of their fidelity to the promise thus given, it 
was the custom of the minister to call at least once 
a year on each of the families in his charge, and 
put the children to the " question" (in more senses 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 



339 



than one), who were expected, and seldom failed, 
to be ready for the ordeal. 

Then followed " the Sacrament." Tables made 
of logs with the upper side hewn down so as to 
leave a flat surface, and supported either on blocks 
of wood or legs of sapling-stocks cut the right 
length and straddled apart, two at each end, to 
make a steady work of it, were arranged length 
wise along the central aisle or passage, and again 
transversely across the open space in front of the 
pulpit. Other logs, dressed in a similar way, but 
narrower and lower, and designed to serve as seats, 
ran parallel-wise along either side of the table. On 
the centre of the transverse table, and consequently 
at the head of the other, widened somewhat for 
the purpose, stood the vessels containing the 
sacred symbols. These latter were covered with 
white linen napkins, as, in cloth of the same mate 
rial, was the board itself (neatly folded and pinned 
at the corners) ; prepared the spotlessness of the 
fabric, and the creases, marked by the iron, with 
which it was barred, showing with what an eye to 
tidiness for the occasion. Taking his station at 
this point of the table, the exercises of the Feast 
were opened by the pastor with an address, the 
most noticeable feature of which was its elaborate 
laying bare of the kindred enormities of transub- 
stantiation and impanation, as heretically enter 
tained by Romanists and Lutherans ; both of 
which, the people were assured, it became them as 



3 40 BLA CK-R OBES. 

good and true communicants utterly to repudiate. 
Next in order a psalm was read, during the 
singing of which, to some melancholy tune, such 
as "Coleshill," or "Communion," or, when the 
metre admitted of it, " Windham," a portion of the 
church-members rising to their feet and filing into 
line marched into and along the aisle, the men on 
one side and the women on the other, until the 
leaders reached the end of the table, where they 
seated themselves, their followers dropping suc 
cessively into place likewise, side by side, as they 
approached, until the benches were filled. The 
singing then ceased ; whereupon two of the elders 
arose, and, commencing at the rear of the board, 
started along the lines to collect the tokens ; pretty 
much as a car-conductor does, passing among his 
passengers to lift their tickets for the trip. Served 
with the customary formalities, more or less tedious 
as the minister officiating chose at his pleasure to 
order it, this first installment of communicants re 
tired at length, under cover of Coleshill resumed ; 
while a second, at the same time, the counter-files 
edging side-wise past each other as they came and 
went along the narrow aisle, moved forward to 
occupy their vacated places. The same proceed 
ing was repeated over and over again, so that there 
were, not unfrequently, six or seven tables filled 
and administered to before all were served who 
were entitled to the privilege. At the close of the 
meeting the preachers and the elders were accus- 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 341 

tomed to assemble in a little group by themselves 
and have a private entertainment of their own, on 
a more liberal scale, over the elements that were 
left of the Supper, not, of course, to gratify a carnal 
appetite, but merely to show, practically, their con 
tempt of the old notion, which they had just heard 
denounced from the pulpit, of the fact of a Real 
Presence in the Sacrament, or that the bread and 
wine were anything other, holier or better, than 
they ought to be. 

It seems almost incomprehensible how out of a 
series of exercises so frigid and formal it should 
be possible for other than correspondingly formal 
and frigid effects to proceed. The intellectual and 
the emotional are not in such relations of sym 
pathy that the tender susceptibilities of the one 
should melt responsively to the dull logic (which 
it does not comprehend) of the other. And yet 
we have the evidence that the miracle could 
happen; that a homily of Smith's or Macurdy's 
could arouse to enthusiasm as well as a harangue 
from Finley or Cartwright, and that the impertur 
bable predestinarian could be brought to his rap 
tures as well as the impressible Methodist. Shortly 
after the Cane-Ridge revival, a very similar move 
ment started in one of the Presbyterian parishes 
of Western Pennsylvania. It created intense ex 
citement at the time, and not only because of the 
extraordinary manifestations which attended it, but 
as the opening scene of a revival that spread through 

29* 



342 BLACK-ROBES. 

all the settlements, and continued, more or less 
powerfully, to prevail through some four years, to 
the material building up of the Redstone Zion 
has become memorable in the annals of the church. 
The occasion is associated with the place in which 
it occurred, and is known in the narratives of the 
time as the GREAT BUFFALO SACRAMENT. 

On the last Sabbath of October, 1802, the com 
munion of the congregation at Cross Roads took 
place, which was attended with such gracious dis 
plays of divine power as to induce the brethren to 
make an appointment for the administration of 
the same ordinance, two weeks later, at the church 
of Upper Buffalo. Very remarkable exercises had 
attended the services at Cross Roads, in the pres 
ence of an unusually large assembly, the fame of 
which was carried far and wide throughout the 
region; so that when the announcement was pub 
lished that the celebration was to be repeated, the 
people everywhere were eagerly ready to attend. 
With the dawn of the day before the appointed 
Sabbath Saturday began to pour in the wor 
shipers, the tide keeping increasingly up until 
much the largest assembly which had ever been 
seen at a religious meeting in Western Pennsyl 
vania, numbering about ten thousand, was collected 
on the ground. Among the rest were fifteen min 
isters. Houses in the neighborhood were hos 
pitably thrown open for the accommodation of 
attendants ; horses were stabled in the barns, and 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 



343 



the wants of both beasts and owners abundantly 
supplied while food and fodder lasted. Tents, with 
which they had prudently come provided, were 
erected by some, while others camped in the woods, 
under booths of bushes hastily heaped together 
for a shelter. On Saturday afternoon two of the 
ministers preached at the same time, one in the 
meeting-house, the other in the tent. Exercises, 
consisting of preaching, exhortation, prayer, and 
praise, were resumed in the evening and kept up 
through the night. Two discourses were deliv 
ered, simultaneously again, on Sunday morning, 
one in the church, as before, and one in the open 
air. The Sacrament, with its customary formali 
ties, was then administered, nearly a thousand 
communicants participating in the ceremony. The 
Reverend Elisha Macurdy, well remembered yet 
by many on the scene of his early labors, as in 
the closing days of his life he used to appear, 
after having officiated at the first table, at the re 
quest of one of his brethren, took a position at a 
short distance from the meeting-house, and, while 
the rest of the tables were still being served, began 
to preach to the crowd that soon collected about 
him. He selected for his text the second Psalm, 
and delivered the discourse, entirely unpremedi 
tated, as we are assured, which proved the eventful 
one of his life, and which has ever since been fa 
mously known in clerical circles as " Macurdy's 
War Sermon." The effect produced upon his 



344 BLA CK- ROBES. 

audience was overwhelming, literally, almost, in 
point of fact, like a discharge of musketry. He 
"popped them down," as the saying among the 
thoughtless and wicked was, " like pigeons," the 
scene appearing " like the close of a battle, in 
which every tenth man had fallen fatally wounded." 
It was the old experience told over again of Cane- 
Ridge, the same mysterious agency breaking out 
and working in the same mysterious way. Some 
fell to the earth suddenly ; some sunk gradually ; 
some lay quiet and silent; some were violently 
agitated; some, seeing the spiritual glory, rejoiced 
hopefully, while others groaned in pain, sorrowing 
and thirsting for the water of life. The work con 
tinued with unabated interest on through Monday 
and until the evening of Tuesday, the people lin 
gering fondly as long as they might at the place 
where so much of God's power had been mani 
fested in their presence 

Not to let the awakening subside, nor to fail of 
putting it to the best advantage while it lasted, the 
meeting at Buffalo Creek was followed up by sim 
ilar ones, held, one after another, in all the various 
churches of the region. Each in its turn was 
a success, the interest which had foeen aroused 
keeping up unabatedly from first to last. Crowds 
gathered at all, from all quarters of the country, 
from the Forks, from Salem, from Congruity, from 
Chartiers. The church at Cross Roads was so 
packed with hearers that the preacher, unable to 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 345 

force an entrance at the door, had to use a ladder 
and climb in to his pulpit through a back window 
of the building. 

A remarkable feature of the revival, viewed in 
connection with its peculiarities of manifestation, 
was the character of the preaching, not only under 
which it started, but by which, afterwards, it was 
sustained. The sermons were purely doctrinal. 
The source and the supply of the enthusiasms of 
the season were the Confession of Faith and the 
Catechisms. The doctrine of Justification by Faith, 
we are assured, was much insisted upon ; also that 
of Sanctification by the Word and Spirit of God, 
and the manner of receiving Christ and walking in 
Him, as set forth in the Holy Scriptures and the 
Standards of the church. That " men of informa 
tion, of strong nerves and vigorous understand 
ings," to say nothing of women and children, should 
have been overcome " popped down like pigeons" 
by orthodox knocks such as these, is certainly 
astonishing, and is about the best evidence that 
could be quoted in proof of the presence of a 
supernatural agency in the work. 

That there was an influence more than human 
astir was generally conceded among the members; 
but whether it emanated from above, or proceeded 
from below, was a controverted point. One would 
suppose that the simple fact of there being room 
to doubt the question ought to have settled it. To 
say that " the devil could not have been its author," 



346 BLA CK-ROBES. 

seems rather like an intimation that there was 
plausible reason to suspect he was, and to try to 
prove the proposition only strengthens the doubt. 

Outside the communion, among " the opposers 
of the revival," the excitement was attributed by 
many to the terrific character of the preaching, 
the vehement appeals to the conscience, and the 
protracted exercises ; all calculated, as was alleged, 
to produce just such an effect on persons of weak 
nerves and delicate constitutions. As against this 
solution, it was retorted that the deists who offered 
it ought to be ashamed of it, especially as not 
a few of their own number, fortified against im 
pression by the writings of Bolingbroke, Hume, 
Voltaire, and Paine, had, nevertheless, been brought 
down among the rest. Could such a miracle be 
ascribed to anything else than the finger of God ? 

Others accounted for it on the ground of " Sym 
pathy." In rejoinder to this theory, it was urged 
that sympathy can only communicate as it has been 
communicated to ; that it never could have begun 
such a work, and that the work having ceased 
though but for an hour, it could not have brought 
it again into operation. One person falling might 
have brought another sympathizing neighbor down 
with him, but what occasioned the first prostra 
tion ? The merit of the invention of this argument 
belongs to the Rev. Doctor George A. Baxter, the 
then President of Washington College. 

A more philosophical and better-sustained view, 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 347 

as its author claims, was that the bodily affection 
was the result of the mental excitement arising 
from the influence of the Spirit and truth of God 
upon the consciences of those who were its sub 
jects. As violent gusts of passion, sudden sur 
prise, strong mental impulses in which either joy 
or sorrow predominates, produce sometimes inju 
rious, occasionally fatal, bodily results, why might 
not similar effects proceed from the similar in 
fluence of religious excitement? And yet the 
inventor of the argument confesses to having en 
countered a difficulty in it, this, that there were 
instances of pungent exercise of mind where the 
generally accompanying physical symptoms were 
entirely wanting. The difficulty was an insuper 
able one, for an exception to the rule was an ex 
tinguisher to the argument, as the projector of it 
upon final reflection concedes, and it was aban 
doned. No explanation could be settled on that 
was entirely satisfactory, although the general con 
viction soon grew to be that the outsiders, or 
" opposers," had, as near as could be, the sensible 
view of it. 

As the results of this remarkable outpouring of 
the Spirit, we are informed that many hundreds of 
persons, of both sexes and of all ages, were brought 
under deep conviction of their sins. A considerable 
proportion of these one hundred and twenty-five 
at the congregations of Cross-Roads and Three 
Springs alone were converted, as it was hopefully 



34 8 BLACK-ROBES. 

believed ; but there were numerous cases among 
them, unhappily, of apostasy. On the whole, not 
withstanding the large accessions claimed, the 
church does not seem to have afterwards held the 
Buffalo style of sensation in particular esteem; for, 
with the exception of a brief run of very unsatis 
factory experience at the Anxious Bench, which 
occurred about a generation later, when similar 
scenes, though on a less extravagant scale, were 
acted over again, she has cautiously steered clear 
of it altogether. 



V. 

THE EARLY LABORERS IN THE BORDER VINEYARD. 

OF those who enjoy distinguished mention, as 
eminent on one account or another among 
the Presbyterian Black-Robes of the border, the 
choice of renown attaches to the half-dozen who 
were foremost to take the field, Power, McMillan, 
Finley, Smith, Dodd, and Clark. These " mission 
aries" appeared on the scene of their future labors 
nearly simultaneously, entering almost abreast, as 
we are told, upon the mighty harvest, and con 
tinued thenceforward as faithful co-workers in the 
cause to the end. As conglomerately, so to speak, 
the Rock upon which the Western Zion was 
founded, their fame rates high, in the estimation 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 349 

especially of the generation that succeeded them ; 
nor among the children's children will their names 
be forgotten while frontier legends, told at family 
firesides, may hold their power to charm, or while 
the local histories last, to invite a perusal, in which 
they are written. We have already alluded to most 
of them, but a somewhat more particular reference 
may not be out of place. 

JAMES POWER emigrated with his family to the 
West in 1776. He did not take the regular charge 
of a congregation for some years, but served as a 
sort of missionary pastor, dividing his time among 
the churches at Mount Pleasant, Unity, Laurel 
Hill, Dunlap's Creek, Tyrone, and Sewickley. Five 
years later he was installed as the regular pastor 
over the flocks of the two folds at Mount Pleasant 
and the neighboring field of Sewickley. In 1787 
he ceased his connection with the latter-mentioned 
people, and, on a salary of one hundred and fifty 
pounds a year, devoted his exclusive services to 
the former. Here he remained until the spring 
of 1817, when, in consequence of the infirmities 
attending old age, he retired, resigning his charge 
to the care of the Rev. A. O. Patterson. Thirteen 
years afterwards he died. 

Mr. Power was a man of medium height, slen 
derly built, and of erect stature. In his dress he 
was plain and neat ; easy in his manners ; cour 
teous in his deportment ; of a mild disposition ; a 
dignified minister in the pulpit,- and a genial gen- 
30 



350 



BLACK-ROBES. 



tleman, though rather a precise one, out of it. He 
had a sweet voice, and spoke with great ease and 
no little eloquence. His favorite portion of the 
Scriptures was the Psalms ; handling them often 
at the desk, always, in fact, when favorable occa 
sions tempted him to aim at telling effects in his 
lectures. His parishes extended over a reach of 
thirty miles, every family in which it was his rule 
to visit at least once during each year. Besides 
these pastoral calls, it was his custom to assemble 
the people, men, women, and children, of different 
neighborhoods, from time to time, and put them 
through a course of examination on doctrinal faith ; 
requiring them to repeat the Assembly's Catechism 
from beginning to end, together with the proofs 
from the Bible, and the explanations of Fisher. 
In addition to his other virtues, faithful chroniclers 
have not neglected to note the fact that he was 
a good rider and an excellent judge of a horse; 
always, with an eye to the protection of his dress, 
selecting one with such a step as would not cast 
mud or dirt, while traveling, on his person. Pro 
fessionally, Mr. Power's labors could not be said 
to have been rewarded with remarkable results ; 
although it is claimed for him that he was success 
ful in edifying Christians, instructing the young, 
and improving the morals of the community. 

JOHN McMiLLAN was born of North-of-Ireland 
parents, at Fagg's Manor, Chester County, Penn 
sylvania, in 1752. ' He commenced his classical 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 351 

studies at the academy, somewhat celebrated, of 
his native place, under the charge of the Rev. John 
Blair, which he further pursued at the grammar- 
school at Pequea, and finally completed at Prince 
ton College, in New Jersey, at the time presided 
over by the Rev. Dr. Witherspoon. He studied 
theology privately under the direction of Dr. Smith, 
at Pequea, was licensed by the Presbytery of New 
Castle in 1774, and entered upon his border mission, 
taking charge of the congregations at Chartiers and 
Pigeon Creek, in the fall of 1778. Mr. McMillan 
was a man of stern and forbidding aspect ; of an 
uncommonly dark complexion, and with a coun 
tenance sharply marked and strikingly expressive 
in every feature. His manners were "studiedly" 
perhaps it would be nearer the mark to say 
vulgarly plain. He was clownishly careless as 
to his personal appearance, being usually dressed, 
as chroniclers, seeing fun but no farce in the fact, 
inform us, like the Jack of Spades, with boots on 
like a ten-gallon keg. It is scarcely characterizing 
his common walk and conversation too severely to 
say that they were ungentlemanly. General Mor 
gan having ridden to church one day in a carriage, 
the first vehicle of the kind ever seen in the neigh 
borhood, Mr. McMillan manifested his ill-bred 
impertinence by contemptuously remarking in his 
sermon that " people might travel on the broad 
road in fine carriages, as well as on horseback or 
afoot." In a quarrel with one of his professional 



352 BLA CK-R OSES. 

brethren, the Rev. Mr. Birch, he denounced him 
as "a liar, a drunkard, and a preacher of the devil." 
Mr. Birch entered suit against him for slander, on 
which he was tried before the civil court of Wash 
ington County, and convicted. The plea that the 
language had been used in a sort of Pickwickian 
sense, secured a reversal of the decision in the 
Supreme Court, to which it was appealed, but 
could not shake the opinion of the honorable- 
minded among the people, that the expression 
was grossly unbecoming, and such as no circum 
stances could justify, especially in a minister of the 
gospel. 

As a preacher, Dr. McMillan was of no marked 
reputation. There was little or no action in his 
delivery. He seldom moved an arm or lifted a 
hand, by way of gesture, in the pulpit His voice 
was harsh, and his sermons, while always sensible, 
pious, and full of matter, were severely plain and 
simple. He was much in the habit of repeating 
himself; but his exhortations, though heard ever 
so often, always, somehow, we are assured, seemed 
fresh to the hearer. As a teacher he was a greater 
success than as a preacher ; so that, although there 
was reason to be thankful for three wide- spread 
and powerful revivals that occurred under his min 
istry, the church confesses to a deeper sjnse of 
gratitude for the hundred, more or le;s, of young 
men taken in hand and trained for the pulpit under 
his private tuition. He lived to the ripe old age 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 353 

of fourscore-and-one, his death taking place at 
Canonsburg in 1833, up almost to the very date of 
which he continued, with his mental and physical 
faculties but little impaired, in the active prosecu 
tion of his professional labors. 

JAMES FINLEY, an Irishman, born (1725) in the 
county of Armagh, in the province of Ulster, emi 
grated to America while yet a boy ; was taught in 
the languages and sciences at Fagg's Manor ; or 
dained to preach in 1752, was the first minister to 
set foot on western soil, although rather on a merce 
nary tramp (having "an eye on certain good tracts 
of land") than a missionary one ; moved to the 
border with his family in 1783, and permanently 
settled there, as the pastor of Rehoboth and Round- 
hill congregations, some two years afterwards. Mr. 
Finley is described as a fat, fidgety, red-faced little 
fellow in black, good-natured, and quite a favorite 
among his people. He was a man who, while duly 
attentive to spiritual affairs, was, at the same time, 
not forgetful of temporal ones. It was possible, 
as he saw it, to serve God, and yet, without dispar 
agement to his loyalty, to lend some little alle 
giance to Mammon too. To have a faith was no 
reason why he should not have a farm, or, for that 
matter, several farms, one for each of his half- 
dozen of promising boys. The only points in 
Mr. Finley's history which tradition has laid hold 
of as worthy of mention are that he was a man of 
eminent piety, and an excellent pastor; that he 



354 BLACK-ROBES. 

visited mudi among his people, and that he was 
particularly remarkable for his attention to the 
catechetical instruction of the youth of his con 
gregation. In his own family it was his custom to 
call his children and slaves together and put them, 
through the same training, regularly every Sabbath 
evening. His forte does not seem to have lain so 
much in bringing sheep into the fold as in keeping 
them there when they were in. He was conserva 
tive rather than aggressive ; better satisfied to hold 
fast to the bird in the hand than to run any risk by 
reaching after others in the bush. And so he lived, 
his parish his world, he all in all to his people, his 
people all in all to him ; and so he died. 

JOSEPH SMITH, a Marylander, of Nottingham in 
that State, was born in 1736, received his literary 
education at Princeton, studied theology under Dr. 
Samuel Finley, at Nassau Hall, and in 1767 was 
licensed to preach the gospel. He visited Wash 
ington County in 1779, where he remained for 
some time, breaking the bread of life to these 
people " in the wilderness." A few months later 
he received a call from the congregations at Buffalo 
and Cross Creek, which he accepted, moving out to 
take charge of them in the year following. Mr. 
Smith was tall and slender in person, of fair com 
plexion, an expressive countenance, and with eyes 
that were piercingly brilliant, but which, like the 
celebrated Whitefield's, squinted. This peculiarity 
served him in profitable stead, however, giving 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 355 

him an increased power over his audience; as, look 
where he might, each hearer felt that his eye was 
on him, and, taking the notice in good faith, ac 
cepted the appeal that went with it, never doubting, 
as personal to himself. His voice, promptly ad 
justable to any style of eloquence, "now like the 
thunder, and now like the music of heaven," was 
perfectly at home alike on the "terrific" as on the 
"pathetic," when in glowing rhapsodies he pic 
tured the attractions of heaven, or when, " arrayed 
with divine and awful majesty, he uncovered the 
bottomless and wide-extending pit of woe, whose 
billows of fire are ever lashed into fury by the 
almighty breath of an incensed Saviour !" He 
was more particularly strong, however, on the 
" terrific," " that kind of preaching that drives a 
man into the corner of his pew, and makes him 
think the devil is after him;" on which account he 
was generally known as "Hell-fire" Smith along 
the border. As a deviser of innocent contrivances 
"to catch flanking-parties and strolling individuals 
in the gospel net," and as an " eagle-eyed spy and 
scouter upon the trails of the enemy," capturing 
them singly and in squadrons, he was eminently 
skillful and successful. In the Christian warfare 
upon which he was entered, he made it his mission 
to conquer, peaceably when he could, forcibly 
when he must ; accepting the latter alternative, 
as it happened, unhesitatingly and boldly, for "he 
feared none of the devil's emissaries on this side of 



356 BLA CK-R OBES. 

hell." He was of a particularly devotional temper 
of mind, observing closely not only the regularly- 
appointed seasons of fasting, humiliation, and 
prayer, but privately, in his own family and on 
his own account, setting apart others, and keeping 
them quite as religiously. It was, also, a common 
custom with him to seize occasions in the night 
for intercessory exercises ; at which times he would 
leave his couch and kneel upon the floor, in the 
winter season and when the nights were cold, keep 
ing for his comfort, as he did so, a cloak always 
hanging ready to wrap about him, at the foot of 
his bed. 

Hell-fire Smith may with propriety be said to 
have been the Lion of the Tribe of the Redstone 
Judah. Wind and will and muscle are potent 
elements in the church as well as out of it, and 
there was a larger share of all of them lodged in 
that long, lank frame of his than in the persons 
of the whole remaining of his co-presbyters put 
together. He had scarcely planted himself among 
the people of his charges before a lively " gale" of 
grace was started in both congregations. Keeping 
in steady blast through the mean time, the gale 
reached its height at the May Sacrament of 1787, 
at Cross Creek, after which it subsided considera 
bly, still continuing, however, to sustain a vigorous 
current, as long as life was spared the inspirer of 
it to keep it in motion. He died, after a twelve 
years' service in the settlements, on the I9th of 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 357 

April, 1792; sorely to the sorrow and seriously 
to the apprehension of his people, who, a mourn 
ing cotemporary informs us, 

" trembled when this Pillar fell, 



Lest God, who his ambassador withdrew, 
Should take away his Holy Spirit too." 

THADDEUS DOD, educated at the College of New 
Jersey, and ordained by the Presbytery of New 
York in 1777 or '78, moved in the year following 
with his family to the West, where he settled, in 
charge of the two congregations of Upper Ten-Mile 
and Lower Ten-Mile, each about the distance im 
plied by their names from the town of Washington. 
Mr. Dod is described as a young man of sallow 
complexion, slender figure, black hair, and with 
eyes that were dark, keen, and penetrating. Intel 
lectually he was possessed of only ordinary ability, 
although he had not failed, by diligent use of the 
means of improvement that were within his reach, 
to make the most out of his faculties that they 
were capable of. He made himself a thorough 
master of the Greek, Latin, and Hebrew languages. 
His preferences, however, ran rather in the line of 
the exact sciences. The Dods of the day were 
famous for their mathematical heads, and Thad- 
deus did no discredit to the connection. He could 
explain every line and figure on Gunter's scale ; and 
that his pupils, when he had them, might do so, 
perfectly, too, it was required of them that they 



358 BLACK-ROBES. 

should make copies of this ingenious contrivance 
to carry about with them in their pockets, so as to 
be conveniently at hand at all times for study, 
which they did, carving them out of pieces, neatly 
prepared for the purpose, of dogwood. Mr. Dod, 
known throughout the parishes as the " Son of 
Consolation," was a man in whom the crowning 
Christian virtue shone more conspicuously than in 
any other of his brethren, in fact, in whom alone 
of the whole Presbytery it may be said to have 
shone particularly at all. He was modest and un- 
presuming in his manners, gentle in his speech, 
and deeply devout and spiritual in his nature. But 
Providence had never, evidently, designed him for 
the pulpit. Mathematics was his mission. He 
seemed himself to be conscious of the fact, and 
before he had been many years in the service began 
to turn his chief attention in that direction. In 
1782 he opened the first classical and scientific 
school in the West. Seven years later he was 
appointed principal of the academy at Washing 
ton, which position he continued to fill until the 
old court-house in which it was kept was de 
stroyed by fire. He died in the spring of 1793. 

JOHN CLARK, born " somewhere" in the State of 
New Jersey, educated at Princeton, and licensed 
by the Presbytery of New Brunswick, after having 
spent much the better part of his life in unprofit 
able service among various folds in his own and 
the neighboring Presbytery of Philadelphia, moved 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 359 

to the Redstone region in 1 78 1, and, then in the 
sixty-fourth year of his age, took charge of the 
united congregations of Bethel and Lebanon. Mr. 
Clark had not experienced a halcyon time of it 
while tending his flocks in the valleys of the Dela 
ware, and this was undoubtedly the chief induce 
ment which tempted him to hazard the fortunes 
of his declining years among a strange people and 
in the new settlements of the border. The big 
white wig he wore quite a novelty on the frontier 
has kept the memory of him from perishing, 
more than anything else. Concerning him as a 
preacher, except in the general, matter-of-course 
particular that he was " solemn and impressive," 
little or nothing is known. His church had its 
attendants on Sabbath-days, but whether they 
were not attracted there by the performances, reg 
ularly to be expected, of two of his slaves famous 
for their singing, rather than by his preaching, is a 
point which at least will admit of dispute. Perhaps 
the cause may have been benefited somehow by 
his labors, but, if it was, no one seems to have 
discovered it. His death is mentioned as having 
taken place in 1797. Bancroft Ubrary 

The Redstone settlements, even at this early 
period in their history, must have been a remark 
ably inviting field for missionary enterprise, not 
withstanding the perils and privations, so elabo 
rately and so compassionately made note of by 
historians, which attended the occupation of it; 



3<5o BLACK-ROBES. 

because we discover that at a very early date other 
missionaries were out on their own account, to 
share the labors and to participate in the profits 
of the same vineyard. The fact that some of these 
may have been pronounced impostors, and the rest, 
all of them, regarded as informally, one way or 
another, in the service, while it may indicate a lack 
of strict fidelity among them, somehow, to their 
church, cannot but be accepted nevertheless as an 
evidence of their zeal. Participating alike in the 
risks of the mission, and subject equally to its 
hardships, they are as justly entitled to mention as 
any of their regularly commissioned and respecta 
bly recognized cotemporaries. A certain Mr. Barr, 
we are told, gained admission into the Presbytery 
shortly after its organization. Where he labored 
we are not informed. His connection with the 
Presbytery lasted some three or four years, when, 
it having become too plainly apparent that he was 
a hinderance rather than a help in the cause, he 
received his dismissal. Thomas Cooly, a "wan 
dering star" from the Presbytery of Charleston, 
South Carolina, as he claimed, illuminated the 
congregations for some time, but serious doubts 
began to be entertained at length of his orthodoxy. 
He was called up to undergo an examination OP 
"experimental religion and cases of conscience," in 
which he failed satisfactorily to sustain himself. It 
was afterwards ascertained that he was out under 
forged credentials, when, instead of being stripped 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 361 

of his robe of office, he was merely transferred, on 
his own petition, to the Presbytery of Carlisle. 
Two Irishmen, father and son, of the name of Mor 
rison, filled pulpits here and there for awhile, but 
they proved vexatious and troublesome, and it was 
not long until, according to a peculiar expression 
of the time, they were " hated out" of the settle 
ments. Mr. Hughey, an importation from Ireland, 
Presbytery of Deny, was also found prophesy 
ing among the people. He was regarded by the 
Redstone regulars as a slippery adventurer, loose in 
his belief, and altogether unworthy of confidence. 
Being accustomed to officiate at weddings, Pres 
bytery, not liking the interference, took the matter 
up, and, after due deliberation, resolved that, "as 
many difficulties arose from marriages celebrated 
by Mr. Hughey," who had no authority civil or 
ecclesiastical to perform the same, "such mar 
riages be discountenanced, and people cautioned 
against them as unlawful." The Derry divine, cut 
off from his most profitable source of income, 
soon retired, and was heard of no more among the 
churches. The next and last prominent of the re 
pudiated was " a man of the name of Birch," who 
has already been referred to in connection with 
the McMillan slander suit. Mr. Birch was an 
Irishman, and a regularly ordained Presbyterian 
minister. He was charged by his brethren as being 
deficient in " experimental knowledge ;" in fact, as 
destitute of piety. It was also suspected of him 



362 BLA CK-R OBES. 

that he was addicted to the too free use of liquor. 
On these accounts, when he applied for admission 
into the Presbytery he was rejected. If Mr. Birch 
was in the habit of manifesting in his daily life any 
thing like as little of the genuine spirit of piety as 
was exhibited when that application was made by 
the ecclesiastical body into which he asked to be 
received, then was the judgment that excluded him 
a most just and righteous one. Dishonored thus 
in his own country, the discarded prophet next laid 
his application before the Presbytery of Baltimore, 
where he fared better, \\\zk fag-end of the Presby 
terian Church, as it was contemptuously styled 
by its border sister, admitting him, by a " gross 
irregularity," into its body. Mr. Birch still con 
tinued on duty in the West. We do not hear that 
he accomplished much by his labors, but there is 
no evidence that the after-course of his life justified 
the scandalous accusations of Mr. McMillan, or 
could be referred to as vindicating the angry 
charges of complaint against the Presbytery that 
adopted him. 

As the scenes of his earliest labors, the Presby 
terian Black-Robe had invariably fixed upon fields 
selected out of country quarters. All the churches 
to which reference has been made were situated in 
the various settlements planted along the water 
courses and intermediate uplands included in what 
are now known as Washington, Fayette, West 
moreland, and the south-of-the-river strip of Alle- 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 363 

ghany Counties. The towns which had sprung up 
here and there, Greensburg, Uniontown, Browns 
ville, Washington, Florence, and the like, were 
entirely destitute of the means of grace, except as 
very rarely, now and then, in a missionary way, it 
may have been dispensed to them by the pastors 
of the neighboring rural churches. From the time, 
in 1756, when Charles Beatty, acting for a few 
months as chaplain among the troops at Fort Pitt, 
was accustomed to induce attendance at worship by 
making the distribution of whisky rations a part 
of the service, down for thirty years, there was not 
a priest of any persuasion, nor church, nor chapel, 
in Pittsburg. The whole town, as a distinguished 
Virginia visitor of the time has testified, was likely 
to be damned without benefit of clergy. In 1786 
an interest seems to have awakened in the spiritual 
welfare of the slovenly Scotch and Irish inhabitants 
of the place, and a congregation was organized, 
over which the Rev. Samuel Barr was settled by 
Presbytery as the pastor. Mr. Barr had not been 
long in his place before trouble arose between him 
and his people. It was alleged against the latter 
that they would not hold themselves amenable to 
church discipline ; that they devolved upon their 
pastor the responsibility of collecting his salary ; 
that the elders among them indulged too much 
in drinking and card-playing and being idle with 
women ; that they were untruthful and covetous ; 
and that by circulating false reports they had 



364 BLACK-ROBES. 

made it impossible to worship God in a peace 
able manner on the Sabbath-day. On the other 
hand, it was retaliated by the elders that their 
minister had not done his duty by his people ; 
that he had not visited their families, nor ex 
amined them in their Catechism ; that he had 
collected money in Philadelphia and New York 
and rendered no account of it to the trustees or 
anybody else in the church ; that he never tried to 
use discipline; and that he, as well as his officers, 
was addicted to card-playing and night-reveling. 
A trial of the case being had before Presbytery, 
the elders were sustained, and Mr. Barr, after a 
three years' term of service, was relieved of his 
charge. Upon assuming his pastorate, _a church 
" of squared timbers and moderate dimensions" 
was erected for the accommodation of his flock. 
This humble structure was the original First Pres 
byterian Church of Pittsburg. In course of time 
around it were piled itself remaining undisturbed 
meanwhile the brick walls of another edifice, con 
sidered as very imposing in its day, but which grew 
to be despised, too, in after-years, and was torn 
away to give place to the temple which, of far 
costlier construction, has since been reared, and 
still stands, with its two stone towers planted square 
and broad upon its old foundations, the pride of 
the worshipers that gather at its gates. 

For two years after Mr. Barr's retirement the 
congregation remained without a pastor. In 1793 



THE PRESBYTERIAN. 365 

Mr. Mahon, a licentiate of the Carlisle Presby 
tery, undertook to supply the pulpit ; but, like his 
predecessor, his " experimental acquaintance with 
religion" was not what Presbytery, after having put 
him through an examination, thought it ought to 
be, and within about a year his connection with 
the church was dissolved. Mr. Semple followed 
next ; but, the civil law proving more to his taste 
than the ecclesiastical, he abandoned the pulpit 
and tpok to the bar. The congregation, failing, 
after so many attempts, to secure the services of a 
sound man, declined now to experiment further, 
and through a long interim were shepherdless al 
together. In 1800 Mr. Steele made a venture at 
the vacancy. His brethren had grave doubts about 
his orthodoxy ; but, after two trial sermons preached 
in their hearing, meanwhile, however, being al 
lowed to officiate as a "supply," he was finally 
admitted, speciali gratia, into the Presbytery. A 
call was then (1802) placed in his hands, and the 
First Church of Pittsburg had a pastor. 

With the occupation of Pittsburg the "mission 
ary" labors of the church may be said to have 
terminated. Satan had here intrenched himself 
behind his last defenses, and when these were 
stormed and taken his sovereignty was ended. 
Presbyterianism had conquered the situation. It 
only remained for her to protect herself in the pos 
session of her properties, to call in her " watch- 
31* 



3 66 BLACK ROBES. 

men to set on her walls," to lengthen the cords of 
her tents and strengthen her stakes ; and to this 
work were her energies thenceforth directed. How 
she met the responsibility, with what success, 
through what chances, and changes, and modifi 
cations in her experience, her faith, and her cus 
toms, and whether, consistently, for worse, or at 
clash, for better, with the example of the olden 
time, her after-history, which falls not within the 
province of this sketch, and her living self, as she 
stands to-day, will best illustrate. 



THE END. 



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BIOGRAPHY AND MYTHOLOGY 

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m 



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